September 30, 2020

Senate makes progress to avoid shutdown; House preps vote on revised relief package

Capitol domeThe Senate Tuesday invoked cloture on the continuing resolution to extend federal funding to Dec. 11, setting the chamber up to pass the legislation today. The president is expected to sign the measure and prevent a federal government shutdown before funding expires at midnight tonight. In addition, the House could begin the process as early as today to advance a revised coronavirus relief package.

The short-term funding deal includes an administration-sought provision to provide assistance to farmers, as well as $8 billion for pandemic-related nutrition assistance. It also extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through Sept. 30, 2021. Congress is expected to continue spending discussions after the November election; while the House has passed its fiscal year 2021 spending package, the Senate has yet to do so. 

In the House, Democrats Monday evening released a revised version of the HEROES Act, which addresses "needs that have developed since the House passed an earlier iteration and reflecting negotiations between Democrats and Republicans," a press release stated.

The revised package includes:

  • revisions to the paycheck protection program (PPP), including NAFCU-sought set asides for community lenders, streamlined forgiveness processes for loans under $50,000 and loans under $150,000, and authorization for smallest businesses hardest hit by the pandemic to receive a second PPP loan;
  • a $1,200 refundable tax credit;
  • $50 billion in emergency rental assistance for low-income renters (was originally $100 billion);
  • $21 billion in assistance to states, territories and tribes to help homeowners (was originally $75 billion);
  • original HEROES Act provisions related to evictions and foreclosures, credit reporting, marijuana banking, and emergency funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund; and
  • bankruptcy protections.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is leading the administration's relief negotiations, were continuing to discuss a potential deal Tuesday. If a deal is not reached, the House is expected to vote on this revised HEROES package by the end of the week, before heading off to their pre-election recess.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, NAFCU has maintained its advocacy on Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to provide credit unions with additional relief to better support members facing financial hardships. See what the association is advocating for in a Phase 4 relief package.

NAFCU will continue to be active with Congress as discussions continue on federal funding and coronavirus relief to ensure credit union priorities are addressed.