By Mark Valentini, Director of Legislative Affairs
Last month, PHCC reported that mid-recess legislative activity in both the House and Senate was sending a signal that negotiations may restart on a COVID relief package that could result in a bill being passed around Labor Day. Since then, White House negotiators including the President’s chief of staff Mark Meadows have indicated that a deal may not come until “after September.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the Senate will be voting on a “skinny bill” (that is, a pared-down version of their HEALS Act introduced last month) as soon as this week that will provide $10 billion for the postal service, extend the PPP, protect businesses from COVID-related torts, and provide $300 of weekly FPUC. The skinny bill retains provisions that would protect small business from COVID-related lawsuits and include eligibility for 501(c)6 non-profits to participate in the paycheck protection program (PPP), demonstrating that this continues to be a legislative priority as PHCC has been vociferously advocating.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded that the Senate bill will not get support from House Democrats, insisting on more comprehensive relief. Last month she proposed reducing the cost of her party’s HEROES Act by $1 trillion dollars and urged Republicans to meet her in the middle. PHCC continues to advocate for bipartisan agreement on a COVID relief bill that includes our legislative priorities for plumbing and HVAC contractors, and the American people.
*This article has been updated as of 9/9/2020.
Director of Legislative Affairs , PHCC-National Association