Federal Spotlight: House Democrats Could Vote on Scaled-Down Version of COVID-19 Relief Package Today

October 1, 2020

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced last night that a vote on a smaller, but still very large COVID-19 bill would be pushed back until today to give more time for negotiations between the White House and the Speaker. The $2.2 trillion dollar package, which is a narrower version of the $3.4 trillion dollar HEROES Act that passed the House in May, contains a number of substantive provisions. Some of the highlights are the extension of numerous unemployment benefits previously approved, including the $600 weekly unemployment benefit that expired in July. It establishes a presumption that COVID-19 contraction is work-related, making those individuals eligible for workers’ compensation. It also continues and enhances mandates within the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on employers. The bill is not likely to be taken up in the Senate if it passes in the House as Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the White House’s liaison on the issue, continue to negotiate. The likelihood of a bill passing both chambers and being signed by President Trump before the election is very slim. Read more from USA Today.