Washington Update Special Edition — March 26
Last night, the Senate unanimously approved the CARES Act, 96-0, after five days of grueling
negotiations. An updated version of the text is attached in the email accompanying this update,
along with several fact sheets on specific components of the bill that we have not previously
The legislative text needed to be updated as it was missing an agreed upon provision that would
require the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve to publish weekly the names of the
companies and others financed through the $500 billion loan program established in the
The bill now moves to the House where Majority Leader Hoyer indicated the CARES Act will
be taken up at 9am on Friday. The House leadership hopes to pass the bill via voice vote. The
President has indicated that he will sign the bill.
HELP CORONAVIRUS Section by Section 3-25-20 – 1pm FINAL
COVID 3 — UI and Tax Title Summary
After five days of intense negotiations, a bipartisan agreement has been reached on a $2 trillion,
bipartisan stimulus bill, a revised version of the CARES Act introduced a few days ago by
Majority Leader McConnell.
The final text is still under review, but the Senate will be back in session at 12pm with a final
vote on the bill likely later today. The bipartisan agreement has both the support of the
Administration and House Speaker Pelosi, who indicated yesterday she plans to bring the Senate
passed bill to the House floor by Unanimous Consent or voice vote to ensure that House
Members do not need to return to DC to vote on this measure.
Minority Leader Schumer circulated a Dear Colleague letter early this morning highlighting
changes Democrats negotiated to the original version of the bill. McConnell and Schumer also
sent out a statement early this morning on the Senate floor announcing a bipartisan agreement
had been reached. Both letters are attached for reference.
Key components of this compromise bill include the following:
● Direct stimulus of $1200 per adult and $500 per child for individuals up to $75,000 and
$150,000 per couple;
● $500 billion in loans and loan guarantees for impacted businesses with stronger oversight
of loans provided to large employers;
● Expanded Unemployment Insurance now providing four months (up from three months)
of federal pandemic UI at up to $600 per week above the compensation level claimants
would receive at the state level;
● $130 billion for hospitals, health care systems, and community health centers (increased
from $75 billion);
● $150 billion for a state and local coronavirus stabilization relief fund;
● $30 billion for Education, (an increase of $10 billion);
● $366 billion for forgivable small-business loans, with $17 billion set aside for businesses
in low-income areas and investment companies that provide venture capital to small
● $10 billion for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans emergency grants of up to $10,000
to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs;
● $30 billion for a Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to state, local, tribal,
and territorial governments, as well as private nonprofits providing critical and essential
House leadership officials have indicated this will not be the last round of pandemic related
funding, they expect to have two more rounds of funding in the coming weeks or months, which
will both address ongoing needs and economic recovery efforts.
Washington Update Special Edition – March 23
In the email attachments you will find more detailed text on the House Democrats’ $2.5 trillion
stimulus proposal that was unveiled this afternoon. The Labor-H sections impacting education
and labor provisions remain unchanged. A section by section summary of the bill is also
The House bill would provide a direct payment up to $2,000/month for most adults and
$1000/month for each of their children for as long as the crisis and potential recession may last.
It also includes stronger paid and sick leave provisions for workers regardless of the size of the
employer for which they work, in contrast to the Senate bill which only applies to employers
with less than 500 employees with DOL discretion to eliminate such requirements for businesses
with less than 50 workers.
Like the Senate bill, it would create a Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation fund of
an additional $600 per week on top of a worker’s state UI allocation, for any worker affected by
the outbreak who is eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.
Self-employed workers, individuals whose job contracts were canceled due to the virus, and new
entrants to the job market would also be eligible for unemployment insurance.
For DOL programs, the bill provides an additional $1.4 billion:
- WIOA – $960 million
- Adult – $2212 million
- Youth +$227 million
- DW +261 million
- NEG +100 million
- Employment Service +$150 million
- SCSEP +$120 million
- Strengthening Community College Grants +$150 million
- VETS +$15 million
It also includes a new title for expanded UI:
- Federally funded $600 weekly additional UI payment, including for Gig workers and those about to start work;
- Expanded work sharing to reduce the number of laid off employees;
- 13 weeks of EB;
- $300 per week for recent grads or new entrants to the workforce;
- Nonprofit or governmental groups who are “reimbursable employers:” would have 50% of their share of UI payments to laid off workers provided by the federal government.
Department of Education- $39.8 billion increase:
- $30 billion for a State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for grants to States to support statewide and local funding for elementary and secondary schools and public postsecondary institutions
- $8 billion for Institutional Aid for impacted institutions of higher education (IHE)
In addition, there is a new Education Relief program included which would:
- Require the Secretary of Education to waive the match requirement for IHE’s under the campus-based aid programs, including the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) and the Federal-Work Study (FWS) program;
- Allow SEOG funding to be utilized for emergency grants to students;
- IHE’s could continue to make FWS payments to affected work-study students for up to one academic year to students who cannot fulfill their FWS job due to coronavirus;
- Provide significantly more flexibility with student loans:
- Require ED to make payments on behalf of FFEL, Perkins and direct loans borrowers for each month during the national emergency;
- Every borrower would receive at least $10,000 in benefits.
To read the entire update, please click the links below.
Special Edition Washington Update-3-23-20
House Draft Bill 032320 a.m.
FY 20 – House supp 3 summary – introduced version – updated 3-23-20
Yesterday, the Senate approved the House passed HR 6201, which was the second dollop of COVID-19 related funding relief in the last two weeks and followed an initial $8 billion package addressing immediate health security needs and offering SBA loans for impacted small businesses and nonprofits.
The newly passed second round of funding contains an array of emergency related assistance including:
● $1 billion for Unemployment Insurance operations in light of the strong upsurge in UI claimants;
● Continuation of school lunch programming and enhanced Meals on Wheels funding for seniors;
● Flexibility in SNAP benefits and work requirements;
● Enhanced paid leave and sick leave;
● Full payment for COVID-19 testing of the uninsured.
However, even before the passage of HR 6201, Majority Leader McConnell had already begun making plans for a third, $1 trillion plus supplemental (Supp 3) to address the economic security needs of industries impacted by this crisis. McConnell formed working groups of key Republican Senators to develop policy proposals and worked with the Administration’s point person, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to introduce S.3548, the “CARES Act”, this evening.
The core components of the CARES act focus on:
● $500 billion in direct stimulus to taxpayers;
○ $1200 to each adult earning less than $75k or couple making under $150k and an additional $500 per child;
● $300 billion in federally guaranteed loans to employers with under 500 employees, which would be forgivable and for core expenses such as employee retention, as well as expanded eligibility of lenders able to offer small business interruption loans;
● Provide the Secretary of Education with the power to grant “national emergency educational waivers”, statutory and regulatory waivers from ESSA, HEA, and CTE…if the Secretary deems that such a waiver is necessary and appropriate;
● Revival of the Treasury Department’s ability to use its exchange rate stabilization fund to guarantee money market mutual funds, a TARP authority last granted in 2008;
● $208 billion in loans to distressed industries, including $50 billion for passenger airlines and $8 billion for cargo airlines;
● Expands funding for procurement of medical supplies and equipment;
● Extends the tax filing deadline to July 15th;
● Increases charitable deductions, allowing for an above the line $300 deduction of cash contributions;
● Adjusts the limitations on deductions for charitable contributions by individuals who itemize, as well as corporations. For individuals, the 50% of adjusted gross income limitation is suspended for 2020;
● Waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes.
McConnell chose not to work with his Democratic counterparts until the introduction of the CARES Act and is now seeking to begin negotiations with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer has urged a “four corners” approach to negotiating this bill and has developed his own proposal, seeking $750 billion, divided between $400 billion for “emergency surge” spending and $350 billion for social safety net programs.
Schumer’s emergency surge provisions:
● Massive new investment in public health and health care equipment;
● Immediate aid to states and localities through existing programs, such as CDBG;
● Expanded SBA lending to small business;
● Broad based education funding–from K-12 to assist distance learning, to loan repayment and loan forgiveness for higher education;
● Increased CCDBG;
● Expanded OAA social service funding;
● Emergency housing and transportation related assistance.
Safety net investments:
● Enhanced UI– including for Gig economy workers;
● Expansion of Medicaid;
● Increased SNAP benefits;
● Broader paid and sick leave– as proposed by Senator Murray in an amendment that was struck down in the Supp 2 package.
Schumer has indicated that Democratic support on a consensus bill requires a more balanced approach that assists workers, as well as employers.
McConnell and Schumer will begin negotiations on the specs of a potentially bipartisan bill. McConnell has asked Senators to stay in town, as negotiations are likely to continue through this weekend. McConnell hopes to find a bipartisan compromise, but if consensus is not achieved, he will need the support of nine Democrats, as 60 votes are required to move legislation through the Senate floor and two Republican members are currently unable to vote due to being self-quarantined.
McConnell’s strategy is to send the Senate bill to the House for an up or down vote, limiting the House’s input on this $1 trillion bill– as House members are currently in recess and becoming increasingly leery of returning to DC, particularly after two House members were diagnosed with Coronavirus.
However, Speaker Pelosi has been working on specs for her own Supp 3 bill, requesting Committee Chairs to put forward ideas to her on what should be included in this package. While the bill will not likely be released until next week, its core components are expected to include:
● Additional Unemployment Insurance assistance;
● Expanded Medicaid;
● Additional social safety net assistance for vulnerable populations, such as food and housing;
● Loans for small businesses;
● Assistance to impacted industries.
The exact timetable for enactment of supp 3 is unclear at this point, but both parties in both chambers recognize the need for expediency to address the crisis created by Coronavirus.
Along with the current bills already underway, a fourth tranche of funding is also expected to address a $54 billion supplemental request from the Administration to address shortfalls in a number of Departments, with a specific focus on HHS and Homeland Security. Speaker Pelosi has indicated that she would rather address this request from the Administration in the Supp 3 bill, but is at odds with McConnell, who prefers it to be taken up separately in a fourth package.
Along with the Administration’s supplemental appropriations request, this fourth tranche could include the extension of key social service programming including TANF and Community Health Centers, as well as the potential for a jobs related package focused on infrastructure.
Impact on FY 21 appropriations process
The extraordinary effort to address the Coronavirus has caused the Appropriations Committee leadership and staff to focus nonstop on emergency funding measures, leaving consideration of the FY 21 regular appropriations process left for another day, with the need for a Continuing Resolution to keep the government open past September 30th a virtual certainty.
Special Edition Washington Update
The Employment and Training Administration delivered a long awaited regulation that would allow states to drug test unemployment insurance recipients.
The new regulation will take effect as soon as next month.
It is not the first time this regulation has been developed. This time, unlike others, states will be allowed to justify the circumstances for drug testing.
States will not be able to begin testing until they have submitted paperwork and have their plans approved by ETA officials.
John Pallasch, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, stated ‘’This rule lays out…that states can…meet under the facts of their specific economies and practices.’’
Read more about the new regulation here.
A new resource for understanding workforce development systems was released by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
On September 12th, NASWA released its inaugural State of the Workforce Report. The state-by-state factbook presents how workforce development programs are managed, labor market information about states and innovations put forth by state officials.
States will have access to key labor market information and how their workforce is structured.
Read the State of the Workforce Report here.
Final Overtime Rule
1.3 million Americans are now eligible for overtime pay.
The news comes after the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The new thresholds will account for growth in employee salaries since the thresholds were last set in 2004. The final rule will be effective January 1, 2020.
Special salaries were revised for workers in U.S. territories and the motion picture industries.
More information about the final rule is available here.
An evaluation of diverse projects to support the employment of people with disabilities found a focus on changing attitudes, person-centered approaches, replication strategies, community partnerships and wraparound services led to stronger projects.
The Kessler Foundation is the philanthropic namesake of Dr. Henry Kessler, an orthopedist who founded the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, a rehabilitation company headquartered in West Orange, N.J.
Since 2004, the foundation put forth more than $41.5 million in funding to a diverse array of grantees to expand opportunities for people with disabilities.
Read more about the Kessler Foundation here.
The Self-Employment Training initiative, funded by the federal government, led to gains in entrepreneurial activities and self-employment for dislocated workers recruited by the workforce development system.
Commissioned by the Employment and Training Administration in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the Self-employment Training Program ran from 2013 to 2017.
Mathematica Policy Research conducted an evaluation on ETA’s behalf. The results showed how the program ‘’maintained family income while developing a small business’’ or ‘’ given the potential risks of self-employment, keeping the door open to the traditional job market.’’
Request a copy of the report here.
The number of states with waivers of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act requirements and the number of individual waivers granted to states each more than doubled over the past year, as more states sought flexibility on planning, spending and performance obligations.
Illinois received a waiver in the second week of January allowing the state to designate a single local workforce area across more than one planning region.
Unlike the other states, Texas is the only one to hold a waiver to allow it to use modified performance measure in performance goal negotiations with local workforce boards.
Find the WIOA waivers here
The Employment and Training Administration unveiled additional performance indicators for grantees of the Indian and Native Americans workforce program.
The statutory purpose of the program, at Section 166(a) is: “to develop more fully the academic, occupational and literacy skills of [Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian individuals]; to make such individuals more competitive in the workforce and to equip them with the entrepreneurial skills necessary for successful self-employment; and to promote the economic and social development of Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.
Find out more about it here.