COVID-19 Federal Response Update – Friday, May 29, 2020

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By Capitol Associates, Inc. 

Congress

  • The House passed H.R. 7010, Small Business Aid Forgiveness Boost Act, which eases some of the requirements for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill:
    • Increases the time businesses have to repay PPP loans from two years to five years.
    • Extends the PPP application deadline to December 31st.
    • Removes a provision from the CARES Act that prohibited recipients with forgiven PPP loans from deferring their payroll tax payments.
  • For purposes of PPP loan forgiveness, the bill:
    • Increases how much time recipients have to spend PPP funding from eight weeks to 24 weeks or until the end of the year (whichever comes first).
    • Gives recipients until the end of the year to restore staffing and salary levels from furloughs and layoffs that occurred between February 15th and March 27th.
    • Reduces how much of the funding a recipient must spend on payroll expenses from 75% to 60%.
    • Extends forgiveness eligibility to recipients who document inability to rehire workers for various reasons.
  • The Senate is expected to consider the bill next week. It is not yet clear if the Senate will vote on the House-passed version or vote on its own version.

White House and Federal Agencies

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a new fact sheet to help state and local governments developing “alternate care sites” understand how to seek payments through CMS programs (Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP) for acute inpatient and outpatient care furnished at the site. Alternate care site is a broad term for any building or structure that is temporarily converted or newly erected for healthcare use.
  • President Trump said he will withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank is preparing to begin lending under its Main Street Lending Program. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released the forms lenders will need to complete to participate in the program.
  • President Trump extended the deployment for currently deployed members of the National Guard through August. Their deployment was set to expire one day shy of when they could become eligible for certain federal benefits.

Reopening, Vaccines, Testing and Treatments

  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said a second wave of COVID-19 infections, though likely to occur, can be prevented if states reopen properly.
    • Dr. Fauci continues to express optimism that we will have a vaccine by the end of the year.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new recommendations for how office buildings should reopen.
  • U.S. GDP declined at an annualized rate of 4.8 percent in Q1. The Q2 annualized GDP decline could reach 40 percent.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 75 percent of civilian workers were required to interact with the general public in 2019. This figure adds perspective to the challenges of maintaining social distancing.

Please  contact the AHRA Regulatory Affairs Committee with any regulatory questions you may have at regulatory@ahra.org.


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