Negotiations Stall on COVID-19 Relief Bill

Aug. 10, 2020

Negotiations on the next COVID-19 legislative package stalled late last week after Democratic Congressional leaders and the White House failed to agree on key issues and spending amounts. The two sides were unable to bridge the gap between the Democratic $3 trillion HEROES Act, which passed the House in May, and the $1 trillion HEALS Act, introduced by Senate Republicans on July 27.

In response to failed negotiations, President Trump signed four Executive Orders on Saturday, calling for action to extend unemployment benefits, provide assistance to renters and homeowners, deliver student loan relief, and temporarily halt payroll taxes. Both the U.S. House and Senate remain in session; however, lawmakers have left Washington, subject to a 24-hour notice to return prior to any votes being scheduled.

IHA continues to urge lawmakers to find agreement and pass legislation that includes critical hospital priorities:

  • Providing additional funding for hospitals through the Provider Relief Fund;   
  • Enacting limited liability protections for frontline providers;   
  • Opposing unworkable OSHA standards;   
  • Making improvements to the Medicare Accelerated/Advance Payment Program;   
  • Extending and increasing the Medicaid federal matching assistance percentage (FMAP); and   
  • Providing additional resources to frontline workers.

A list of IHA COVID-19 federal legislative priorities is available here, and IHA’s August 5 Advocacy Alert is available here.