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by | Aug 15, 2020 | General

COVID-19 Relief Package Negotiations

Aug | General

15 | General

COVID-19 Relief Package Negotiations

NJCA staff, KDCR Partners and NJCA’s GAC Strategic Advisory Group continue to conduct outreach to key members in the House and Senate to advocate on behalf of Job Corps priorities for the COVID-19 Phase 4 relief package.

The status and fate of a potential relief bill, however, remains unclear. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) had been meeting regularly over the past several weeks to negotiate the next relief deal; however, little progress has been made, and negotiations seem to now be at a standstill.  President Trump’s issuing of four executive orders [see next article] has all but terminated any meaningful discussions. Prior to the President’s action, major holdups included the total price tag, as well as the $600 per week enhanced unemployment benefit, federal funding for state and local governments, and liability protections. 


Negotiations had begun in earnest after Senate Republicans unveiled their Phase 4 relief proposal, the HEALS Act, on July 27, 2020. The $1.1 trillion package included a reduction of enhanced unemployment insurance from $600 to $200 per week, $16 billion for coronavirus testing, and $105 billion for schools.  In addition, the package called for a five-year shield from certain coronavirus-related lawsuits, as well as another round of direct stimulus checks to Americans and funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.  

Further, similar to the House-passed HEROES Act, NJCA successfully advocated for the inclusion of a provision in HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) Safely Back to School and Back to Work Act that grants the Secretary of Labor the authority to waive certain age limitations for Job Corps during a declared emergency, such as a pandemic.

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