Summarized from Jade West, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
On July 27, Senate Republicans released a series of bills covering a broad range of issues that they will now combine into the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act. This is the Senate’s long-awaited $1 trillion CARES 2 Coronavirus response legislation.
To pass, this bill will have to get 60 votes, and that outcome is not certain since there is intense Democratic opposition and some opposition from Senate Republicans as well. Negotiations are now underway on the Senate bill, and if it passed it will have to be reconciled with the HEROES Act, which was passed by the House in June, before something can be sent to the president.
The HEALS Act includes numerous provisions that NAW has strongly advocated for, such as:
- Additional funding and structural changes for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP);
- Limited and targeted liability protection from COVID-related claims;
- Extension of the unemployment insurance program but with a reduced pandemic bonus payment;
- Expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit, including making PPP borrowers eligible for the ERTC with limits to prevent overlap; and
- Stimulus payments to individuals.
One notable omission the NAW expected in the bill was language to reverse the IRS ruling that otherwise-deductible expenses paid with forgiven PPP loan proceeds are not tax-deductible. A strong effort will be made to fix this problem.
Politico published a story last evening that summarizes the legislation and gives a good account of the political situation in Congress and the challenges ahead as they try to negotiate a final bill. You can read that story here.
Also, the Littler Law firm published a report on some of the key provisions in the bill. You can view the firm’s report here.
Section-by-section of Finance/tax provisions
Legislative text of Finance provisions (including ERTC)
Liability legislative text
Small business section-by-section
Small Business provisions legislative text
Legislative text for Restaurant aid
FEDA urges members to reach out to their legislators and ask them to work toward the passage of another COVID-19 relief package the would include the above provisions. To find your U.S. representative and his or her contact information, visit house.gov/representatives and enter your home zip code in the top right corner. For your U.S. senators, visit senate.gov and click on the “Find Your Senators” by state dropdown menu in the top left corner.