COVID-19 Federal Update 5-8-20

May 8, 2020

Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: (last Friday, 63,019), Monday 68,606, Tuesday 69,925, Wednesday 72,285, Thursday 74,810, Friday 76,942

Happening on the Hill

FBI Backlash Boosts Odds Surveillance Bill Is Altered: Anger over the FBI’s mishandling of applications to eavesdrop on a former Trump campaign aide boosts the odds that the Senate will vote to expand judicial oversight of secret surveillance to catch spies and terrorists, privacy advocates say. Republicans are disturbed and angry over an inspector general’s Senate testimony that the FBI misled a secret court to get warrants for continued surveillance of Carter Page for its investigation of possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign. It also spurred many Democrats to seek tighter controls over FBI eavesdropping.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called yesterday for passage — without amendments — next week of House-passed legislation that would restore legal authorities that lapsed March 15 for two different types of surveillance and the collection of relevant business records. In a floor speech, he urged the rejection of three amendments that are guaranteed votes under a procedural deal because they’d “jeopardize tools that keep America safe.’”

But increased skepticism about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, may still propel the Senate to adopt one amendment that makes modest changes to the legislation, privacy advocates say. Read more from James Rowley.

Records Sought of Trump Org. Seeking Foreign Aid: Democrats are seeking information from the Trump Organization about its requests for emergency pandemic relief from foreign governments. The House Oversight Committee is requesting documents and communications from Trump’s company pertaining to “any loans or other funds from any domestic or foreign government entity, including the British government, referring or relating to the coronavirus crisis,” according to a letter dated yesterday and reviewed by Bloomberg News. Read more from Caleb Melby and Stephanie Baker.

 

SBA Program

If you’re looking for a real-time list of public companies who have received SBA Cares Act loans, AI Margaret rom Factsquared has been reading SEC 8-Ks as they’re filed.

https://factba.se/sba-loans

 

Future Stimulus Legislation

Democrats Said Pushing for $1B or More in Broadband Subsidies: House Democrats are pushing to include more than $1 billion in the next economic relief package to help pay low-income Americans’ broadband bills, five telecom industry sources familiar with the effort say. Democrats are said to be considering whether to distribute the aid through the FCC’s Lifeline program, which provides monthly discounts of $9.25 for about 7 million low-income subscribers, or through a new broadband subsidy program, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the effort. Read more from Jon Reid.

 

Healthcare

HHS Testing Official Joins WHO: A senior HHS official who’s been coordinating coronavirus testing for the federal government was confirmed by the Senate to represent the U.S. on the board of the World Health Organization. Brett Giroir, HHS assistant secretary for health, was approved by a voice vote yesterday to join the 34-member executive board of the WHO. The move comes after Trump ordered a 60-day freeze of U.S. funding for the organization in April. Giroir will continue at his HHS post, a spokesperson for his office confirmed when he was nominated. Read more from Shira Stein.

Shortages Seen for Needles, Syringes for Vaccine: Health-care providers, the Trump administration, and manufacturers like Becton Dickinson are preparing for the next coronavirus-era supply shortage: needles and syringes essential to delivering vaccines. The Department of Health and Human Services has signed contracts to get an additional 320 million needles and syringes, and companies are ramping up their production. The moves come as officials foresee a surging demand for needles and syringes with more people seeking a flu shot this year and governments trying to secure inventory for a possible coronavirus vaccine. Read more from Shira Stein.

Trump Goes All In on Vaccine: When the Soviet Union put the first man into space in 1961, the shock to America’s self-confidence was electric. If China should be first to produce a successful vaccine against the coronavirus, U.S. prestige is likely to suffer a similar blow. Trump is putting everything he’s got into a research effort dubbed Operation Warp Speed, which pulls together pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and the military. So is China, which has a head start at a time the two countries are already engaged in a fight for dominance impacting everything from trade to the roll-out of 5G communications networks. Read more from Marc Champion.

Globally, most vaccine programs are in their early stages, meaning the gold standard of data, clinical trials with “blinded” placebo and therapeutic groups, is still a ways off. In normal times, the process to approve a drug or vaccine is slow and painstaking. It can be accelerated but at the risk of incurring unforeseen harm. When rules are loosened in the desire to get a vaccine to market quickly, it’s important to cast a skeptical eye on too-good-to-be-true data. It’s also possible that more than one usable vaccine could emerge. In the polio epidemic of the 1950s, scientists developed two different kinds, first an injection and later oral drops, to help eradicate the disease. Cristin Flanagan, Riley Griffin, Robert Langreth and John Lauerman look at the most promising candidates for a vaccine.

Covid-19 Came From Bats, Can Spread Among Cats: A World Health Organization scientist said Covid-19 comes from bats and can spread among cats amid an international debate about the virus’s origin. The novel coronavirus comes from a group of viruses that originate or spread in bats, and it’s still unclear what animal may have transmitted the disease to humans, Peter Ben Embarek, a WHO expert in animal diseases that jump to humans, said today in a briefing with reporters. Read more from Janice Kew and John Lauerman.

Children Suspected of Spreading Virus: Children with Covid-19 threaten recovery from the pandemic — sparking increased scrutiny of their cases from scientists and policy-makers seeking clues about the new coronavirus’ spread and virulence. While infections of those under 18 compose a small portion of the worldwide total, they number in the thousands, and in recent days have become the subject of a National Institutes of Health study. There have also been reports in the U.S., U.K. and Europe of a mysterious condition among children. Read more from Vernon Silver and Marco Bertacche.

White House Rejects CDC’s Reopen Guidance: The White House blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from issuing specific guidance for U.S. daycares, restaurants, churches, theaters and other businesses to reopen from the coronavirus outbreak out of concern that the recommendations were too prescriptive, two Trump administration officials said yesterday.  CDC leadership hadn’t signed off on the guidance before it was submitted to the White House coronavirus task force, an official on the task force said. One issue was that the CDC guidance didn’t account for whether businesses were in hard-hit parts of the country or not, said the task force official and the second person, a White House official. Both asked not to be identified because the deliberations weren’t meant to be public.

The White House’s task force issued broad guidelines for reopening the country on April 16 but largely left the specifics to states on how to restart economic and social activities. The CDC was told that the task force would look at revisions to the guidance, but the task force hasn’t received an updated document, said the administration officials. The CDC is tasked with protecting Americans from health threats and had been the agency U.S. officials turned to during pandemics and other outbreaks but it has largely been sidelined during this virus response. Vice President Mike Pence has been leading the task force and President Donald Trump dominated most of the daily briefings for the public. A version of the CDC’s guidance posted by The Associated Press gives detailed instructions to businesses and churches on how to protect their customers and workers, how to clean spaces, and how to minimize risk from the virus. Summer camps, for example, would have been told to limit interactions between groups of children, maintain social distancing, and check people for symptoms of Covid-19, Anna Edney and Jennifer Jacobs report.

Pelosi Eyes State, Local Relief in Next Bill: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told Bloomberg Television that the House could vote on its own version of a new coronavirus relief bill next week, which won’t plow any “new territory” but will “dig deeper” in terms of addressing the needs of the country. House Democrats discussed the contents and timing of the next coronavirus bill on a caucus-wide call yesterday. Leaders promised a 72-hour notice before any vote would occur to allow for travel to Washington, according to a person on the call. Pelosi said the Democratic bill will contain three major parts: relief for state and local governments; funding for wider testing and other needs for reopening the economy; and “putting money in the pockets of the American people.” Billy House and David Westin have more.

Republicans are broadly skeptical of providing funds now to state and local governments, at least not as much as proposed by Pelosi, who has said $1 trillion might be necessary over the next few years. But there was an intra-GOP sparring match on the Senate floor yesterday when Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) blocked Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) consent request to pass to a bill (S. 3608) to provide more flexibility for governments to use the $150 billion in funds from the CARES Act.

Kennedy’s measure would allow state and local governments to use CARES Act funds for any operational expense, rather than strictly limiting the use to the coronavirus response. That would allow governments to make up for lost sales tax revenue, for example, while still barring states from using the funds to bail out pension systems, he said. But Scott objected to Kennedy’s request to bypass the Appropriations Committee. Scott said any loosening of the restrictions on CARES Act aid still equates to a bailout of Democratic states such as New York, California and Illinois, Jack Fitzpatrick reports.

AHRQ Funding Urged: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) led a letter urging congressional leaders to include $71 million in funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality under HHS in the next relief package. The boost in funding would give the agency “the capacity to evaluate the U.S. health care system’s response to the pandemic, pinpoint shortcomings, and improve national preparedness for future crises,” according to a statement. Read the letter to Senate leadership here and House leadership here.

Senior Living Providers Seek Aid: A senior living industry group representing nonprofit facilities is urging the administration and Congress to prioritize older Americans in relief efforts as states start lifting stay-at-home orders. In a virtual news conference yesterday, LeadingAge President Katie Smith Sloan called on lawmakers and the administration to place aging-service providers on the same tier as hospitals for obtaining personal protective equipment and rapid testing kits. Sloan also called for $100 billion in the next relief package for senior living providers. Megan R. Wilson has more.

A federal directive to suspend most nursing home inspections during the Covid-19 pandemic is drawing scrutiny from lawmakers, attorneys, and patient advocates who say it’s fueling poor resident care and an explosion of infections and deaths. The CMS has halted most on-site, non-emergency inspections so nursing homes and inspectors can devote more time and resources to infection control and other patient safety issues. The agency is urging facilities that aren’t being inspected to use a self-assessment survey to measure their compliance with state and federal guidelines. Tony Pugh has more.

HHS Gives $583 Million to Expand Testing: Community health centers, which provide primary care for 28 million people, will get $583 million to expand their Covid-19 testing, HHS announced yesterday. The funding will be divided among 1,385 centers and will help them buy personal protective equipment, train staff, and buy and administer tests and lab services, the Health and Human Services Department said. Read more from Shira Stein.  Separately, the federal government released provider-level data showing which hospitals and doctors received roughly $20 billion in payments made available through recent pandemic stimulus measures. The top five grant recipients were: Dignity Health in Arizona, with $180.2 million; the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, with $103.2 million; Stanford Health Care in California, with $102.4 million; Memorial Hermann Health System in Texas, with $92.4 million; and New York University Langone Hospitals in New York, with $92.1 million.  Eighty-eight hospitals and doctors’ offices received $5 or less from the grants. The payments were based on eligible providers’ share of net patient revenue, according to the HHS, Alex Ruoff reports.

Treasury to Revise Tax Credit for Health Firms: The Treasury Department will revise rules for an employee retention tax credit to make the tax break available to companies who’ve furloughed workers but are still offering health insurance, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a letter sent to lawmakers. A bipartisan group of members of Congress including Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had pushed for the change, arguing that the rule contradicts congressional intent and made it harder for employers to keep workers’ coverage if blocked from receiving the credit, Laura Davison has more.

Trump Goes All In on Vaccine and May Still Get Beaten by China: When the Soviet Union put the first man into space in 1961, the shock to America’s self-confidence was electric. If China should be first to produce a successful vaccine against the coronavirus, U.S. prestige is likely to suffer a similar blow.  President Donald Trump is putting everything he’s got into a research effort dubbed Operation Warp Speed, which pulls together pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and the military. So is China, which has a head start at a time the two countries are already engaged in a fight for dominance impacting everything from trade to the roll-out of 5G communications networks. The stakes in finding a vaccine against the coronavirus couldn’t be higher. In just a few months the disease has claimed more than a quarter of a million lives and shattered economies worldwide. Read more from Marc Champion.

HHS Testing Official Joins WHO: A senior HHS official who’s been coordinating coronavirus testing for the federal government was confirmed by the Senate to represent the U.S. on the board of the World Health Organization. Brett Giroir, HHS assistant secretary for health, was approved by a voice vote yesterday to join the 34-member executive board of the WHO. The move comes after Trump ordered a 60-day freeze of U.S. funding for the organization in April. Giroir will continue at his HHS post, a spokesperson for his office confirmed when he was nominated. Read more from Shira Stein.

Scalise GOP Chief on Virus Panel: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-la.) will be the top Republican member on the House Select Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee. Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.), Mark Green (Tenn.) and Jackie Walorski (Ind.) will also serve as the panel’s Republican members, though Republicans have blasted the panel’s creation as wasteful, Erik Wasson and Greg Sullivan report.

Republicans Form China Task Force: House Republicans are forming a task force to investigate China’s role in the spread of the coronavirus as members widen their attempt to put a focus on the actions of Beijing. “China’s coverup directly led to this crisis,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said yesterday. “It follows the same threatening pattern of behavior we have seen from the Chinese Communist Party for years.” Republicans have focused in recent weeks on blaming China for the coronavirus crisis in the wake of lower approval ratings for Trump’s handling of it. The House GOP task force was given an October deadline to issue its report, just before the presidential election in which the virus response likely will be a top issue. Daniel Flatley and Erik Wasson have more.

FDA Pulls Green Light for Chinese Masks: The Food and Drug Administration reversed a decision to permit the emergency use of dozens of N-95 face masks made in China, after government testing found many didn’t work properly. The agency had authorized use of the masks to help address shortages of personal protective equipment, on the condition that their effectiveness was verified by independent testing labs. That policy is being reversed based on testing by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that found many of those masks failed to meet filtration standards. Read more from Anna Edney.

Shortages Seen for Needles, Syringes for Vaccine: Health-care providers, the Trump administration, and manufacturers like Becton Dickinson are preparing for the next coronavirus-era supply shortage: needles and syringes essential to delivering vaccines. The HHS has signed contracts to get an additional 320 million needles and syringes, and companies are ramping up their production. The moves come as officials foresee a surging demand for needles and syringes with more people seeking a flu shot this year and governments trying to secure inventory for a possible coronavirus vaccine. Read more from Shira Stein.

$10 Billion in Lost NIH Research: The coronavirus pandemic will cost the NIH about $10 billion in taxpayer-funded research, its director told a Senate panel. That estimate comprises nearly a quarter of the NIH’s more than $41 billion budget, more than 80% of which goes to research grants at universities and other research institutions. NIH Director Francis Collins told senators yesterday the number includes both lost productivity from shuttered laboratories as well as keeping scientists and their staff employed. Read more from Jeannie Baumann.

Barr Vows to Push Overturning of Obamacare: Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department would continue its efforts to invalidate Obamacare even as millions of Americans have lost their health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic. Barr, in an interview with CBS News yesterday, said the department would ask the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act when it takes up a politically-charged case this October — weeks before the presidential election. “We had an opportunity, all the stakeholders in the administrati on, to discuss this, and the Department is going to be taking the position as the president states,” Barr said. Read more from Chris Strohm and John Harney.

Health Coverage Extensions Could Vex Employers: The Trump administration is offering laid-off employees more time to decide if they want to stick with their prior job-based health coverage and more time to pay for it—leeway that could wreak havoc on employers. The Labor and Treasury departments have recently postponed the deadline for employees to pay for up to 18 months of coverage. But benefits attorneys say the relief for people losing their jobs in the midst of a pandemic has the potential to create a patchwork of deadlines nationwide and force employers to foot the bill for costly health insurance. Read more from Lydia Wheeler.

Rule Forcing Hospitals to Show Prices Faces Scrutiny: A federal district judge questioned whether the White House can force hospitals to publicly disclose the payment rates they negotiate with insurance companies. Judge Carl Nichols, an appointee of Trump on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, asked the government yesterday what evidence it has that such rule will lower health-care costs and probed its “standard charge” definition. “At least hypothetically, a hospital for a particular item, a particular service, might be required by this rule to publish a large number of amounts as standard charges,” he said. Read more from Lydia Wheeler.

Democratic Senators Introduce Legislation Restoring WHO Funding: Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee plan to introduce legislation Friday that would restore U.S. funding for the World Health Organization and appropriate $9 billion to support international efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes as President Donald Trump and members of his administration say the agency was complicit in the spread of the virus by accepting initial claims from China about the severity of the outbreak. Trump last month temporarily suspended U.S. payments to the WHO amid criticism from Democrats over his administration’s response to the virus crisis. “To stop the spread in the United States, we need to stop the spread everywhere,” Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations committee, said in a statement. “There is a moral imperative to U.S. leadership in the global arena right now, and this legislation is a recognition that we need to lead the international community to bring this pandemic to an end.” Among other things, the legislation would require the immediate restoration of funds to the WHO and would re-establish a position for global health emergencies on the staff of the National Security Council. The legislation also aims to keep sanctions from affecting humanitarian relief and medical equipment delivery efforts to Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.

China and the United Nations health body have become a focal point in a growing partisan debate in Washington as the November elections approach.  Republicans in the House of Representatives announced the formation Thursday of a task force to investigate the role of China in the spread of the coronavirus as GOP lawmakers broadened their attempts to put a focus on the actions of the Beijing government. In the Senate, four Republicans introduced a bill Wednesday that seeks an accounting of how U.S. aid money is spent on the WHO and other multilateral groups. The Democratic legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Ben Cardin of Maryland, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Chris Coons of Delaware, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

 

Transportation

Airport Screeners Must Wear Masks: All U.S. airport security screeners must start wearing masks, according to new Transportation Security Administration guidance. The move comes as a government and industry working group begins considering a possible requirement that face coverings be worn by everyone entering an airport, two people familiar with the discussions said. More than 500 TSA screeners have tested positive for Covid-19, including six who died, according to the agency’s website. The agency for months had left mask use voluntary. “TSA is making this change to protect our employees and travelers as social distancing cannot always be maintained in the screening process.” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a press release. The agency’s press release didn’t spell out any possible future actions, but said it was “considering further changes to our screening system to further minimize the risk and to limit physical interactions in the security checkpoint.” The new requirement will be phased in “over the coming days,” the agency said. It is also asking passengers to wear facial protection. Read more from Alan Levin.

Amtrak Also Requiring Face Masks: Beginning on May 11, Amtrak will require all customers wear facial coverings while in stations, on trains and thruway buses. “The safety of Amtrak’s customers and employees is our top priority and requiring a facial covering is one more way we can protect everyone,” Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn said in a statement. “Amtrak continues to operate as an essential service for those who must travel during this public health crisis. Our services will be even more critical as our nation recovers.”

Michigan, California Give Green Light to Restart: Michigan and California’s governors are allowing manufacturers to resume operations in the coming days, clearing the way for Detroit’s three carmakers to reopen by mid-month, David Welch reports. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will let manufacturers in some parts of the state resume operations starting Friday, while Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) cleared the way for them to reopen beginning May 11. The implications of the announcements are clear for Detroit, with General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler now having a green light to restart North American plants starting May 18. Tesla’s position is murkier, with California still allowing counties to remain more restrictive and potentially block Musk from reopening his assembly plant in the state.

Frontier Air Drops Extra-Space Plan: Frontier Airlines quickly reversed course on a plan to charge extra for passengers who want to guarantee a spot next to an unoccupied middle seat, after several lawmakers accused the discounter of seeking to take advantage of the pandemic. “We recognize the concerns raised that we are profiting from safety and this was never our intent,” Fronter’s CEO, Barry Biffle, said in a statement. “We simply wanted to provide our customers with an option for more space.” Read more from Justin Bachman. Frontier also will check passengers for fevers starting June 1, introducing a new health requirement a week after U.S. carriers said they would start mandating face coverings because of the coronavirus pandemic. Flyers with a body temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher will be denied boarding, Frontier said in a statement. Employees will also be screened, the airline said. Read more from Brendan Case.

Transit, Aviation Groups Want More Funding: The American Public Transportation Association asked Congress for about $24 million more in aid yesterday to help their members weather the coronavirus crisis. Public transportation received $25 billion under the third coronavirus relief package (Public Law 116-136) signed into law in March. National Business Aviation Association President and CEO Ed Bolen is asking for more funding for aviation in general but also targeted relief for business aviation, according to his in written testimony submitted for Wednesday’s hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. At the same hearing, Todd Hauptli, president of the American Association of Airport Executives, told the panel that airport aid under the third coronavirus aid package isn’t enough, and asked for at least $10 billion more in federal funds. More than 3,000 airports have already received a combined $10 billion in aid, Rozen reports.

Bipartisan Request for USPS Relief: A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), sent a letter yesterday to Senate leadership to include emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service in any future coronavirus legislation. “The USPS has seen significant mail volume declines due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the agency projects it could soon run out of resources to pay employees and suppliers as early as September of this year. Emergency funding, additional borrowing authority, and debt forgiveness are necessary to help shore up the agency’s finances and help it survive the current national crisis,” they wrote. A new report by the Government Accountability Office finds that the USPS mission and financial solvency are “increasingly in peril” without congressional action on its business model. The nonpartisan watchdog suggested Congress reassess what level of postal service the U.S. requires, whether the agency should be financially self-sustaining and how best to achieve that goal. Bloomberg Government analyst Paul Murphy has highlights of contract spending at the service, which surged to $16.6 billion in fiscal 2019.

Expanding Rural Internet During Covid-19 Outbreak: West Virginia Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R) and Joe Manchin (D) yesterday introduced a bill, the Eliminating Barriers to Rural Internet Development Grant Eligibility, that aims to remove obstacles to building infrastructure for broadband internet in rural areas. The bill, a companion to companion to a House measure (H.R.6491) from House Transportation and Infrastructure ranking member Sam Graves (R-Mo.), would allow local communities to partner with telecom companies and apply for grants to help fund broadband infrastructure projects.

Warren Blasts ‘Bailout’ for Oil Companies: The White House shouldn’t create a special aid program to bolster oil and gas producers while ignoring companies with “legitimate needs” that have been harmed by the economic downturn, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said yesterday. Oil companies “do not deserve special access to taxpayer-financed bailout funds” when “millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet,” she told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a letter. Read more from Jennifer A. Dlouhy.

In the House, Democrats offered a bill that seeks to prevent spending stimulus funds on paying off “bad debt” taken on by fossil fuel corporations before the public health crisis. The measure would also block “executive actions the Trump Administration has taken or has indicated an interest in pursuing in order to aid fossil fuel corporations,” the lawmakers said in an emailed statement, Kasia Klimasinska reports.

Democrats Oppose Biofuel Waivers: The EPA should deny governors’ requests to waive biofuel-blending mandates as it “would cause further harm to the U.S. economy” and especially “vulnerable rural communities,” 24 senators told President Donald Trump yesterday. Granting those waiver requests would exacerbate pain for the biofuel industry and farmers whose income is tied to the health of the sector, as dropping fuel demand prompted ethanol and biodiesel producers to idle plants and slash production, the senators wrote in a letter led by Sens. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jennifer A. Dlouhy reports.

Agency Guidance on China-Owned Transit Limits: Transit agencies now have some idea what the restrictions on Chinese rolling stock mean for them. Under guidance from the Federal Transit Administration, agencies can execute a contract with a company like CRRC or BYD, both Chinese government affiliated entities, through Dec. 19, 2021 and use federal funds for the purchase of buses or trains. But after that date, no federal funds can go towards such contracts because of language in the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.  Lawmakers of both parties, security advocates and trade associations have targeted the two companies, voicing worries that the vehicles could be used to infiltrate sensitive U.S. infrastructure and allow the Chinese government to spy on localities and passengers, according to previous BGOV reporting. Notably, the FTA interpreted “contract” to mean either purchases, leases or other transactions, and not just sales as some had interpreted the congressional language, according to a person familiar with the rolling stock ban. Transit agencies that previously had contracts with a restricted entity prior to Dec. 20, 2019 do not fall under the federal funds prohibition. The carve out was an agreement that helped pave the way for the language to pass the House and Senate where key lawmakers had parochial stake in the matter, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who has an affected bus manufacturer in his district.

Automakers Avoid Additional Takata Air Bag Recall: Automakers won’t have to recall roughly 56 million more air bag inflators made by the now-defunct Takata, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said yesterday, citing industry test data the agency said showed the parts won’t pose danger. Instead the agency and an industry group will monitor the safety of those Takata air bag inflators, Ryan Beene reports.

New Grant Program to Help Broadcast Safety Recalls: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is making $1.5 million in grants available for as many as six states to apply for funding to communicate vehicle recalls. Upon receiving funding, the state-run notification program will notify owners and lessees of vehicles with open recalls along with registration notices. After two years, the state program will be evaluated.

The state “program is intended to supplement and does not in any way replace the vehicle manufacturer’s legal obligation to alert consumers of recalls on their vehicles and to provide a remedy free of charge,” NHTSA said in a press release.

Chicago Faces Firefighter Training Fine: The FAA proposed a $1.29 million fine against the Chicago Department of Aviation yesterday as punishment for firefighters not completing required training. The department oversees O’Hare and Midway International Airports. In 2018, the airports handled more than 105 million passengers, according to the city’s budget. American Airlines and United Airlines lease the majority of the gates at O’Hare.

Transport Union Endorses Biden: The Transport Workers Union of America released a statement yesterday endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden for president. “Biden has repeatedly called for an emergency temporary standard from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which would require these basic protections for all of our members. He has demanded that frontline workers be the priority for access to PPE and testing,” the group said while citing the more than 110 TWU members who have died from Covid-19, along with another 10% of members who “have tested positive or been quarantined because of a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) or mandatory worker protections on our transportation systems.”

SCOTUS Throws Out ‘Bridgegate’ Convictions: The Supreme Court threw out the convictions of two allies of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal in a ruling that limits the power of federal prosecutors to target state and local corruption. Justices unanimously said yesterday that Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni didn’t commit criminal fraud under U.S. law, even if they lied about why they closed two access lanes in the 2013 “Bridgegate” scheme. Read more from Greg Stohr.

Person on Austin, Texas, Runway Killed as Southwest Plane Lands: Police and federal aviation officials are investigating the death Thursday night of a person who was on a runway at an Austin, Texas, airport as a Southwest Airlines jet landed. A pilot of Southwest Flight 1392 landing at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport reported seeing a person on the runway shortly after the jet touched down at 8:12 p.m. local time, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. An airport employee later found a body on the runway. FAA investigators are on their way to the site to assist the Austin Police Department, the FAA said in its statement. The death appears to be the first involving a large passenger airline in the U.S. since a woman died on April 17, 2018, after an engine failed and debris struck a window, causing her to be sucked partly out of the plane on a flight from New York to Dallas. Read more from Alan Levin.

 

Economy

Worst Postwar U.S. Jobs Report Is On Tap: Today’s U.S. jobs report is forecast to show employers slashed about 22 million jobs in April, nearly erasing a decade of job gains in a single month as the country shut down to control the spread of the coronavirus. That’s 27 times the worst monthly decline during the 2007-2009 recession and about 11 times the previous record decline in September 1945, when the nation demobilized with the end of World War II. “This might be the worst macroeconomic data report in U.S. history,” said James Sweeney, chief economist at Credit Suisse Group.

The unemployment rate — which was at a 50-year low just a few months ago — may surge to 16%, the highest level since the Great Depression, according to Labor Department figures back to the 1940s and National Bureau of Economic Research data before that. With millions more Americans filing for unemployment benefits in recent weeks, the jobless rate is likely to keep climbing in May. Read more from Reade Pickert.

SBA Treated as a Washington Backwater Until Pandemic: The only person who didn’t speak at a White House briefing on a massive federal effort to aid mom-and-pop firms crushed by the coronavirus pandemic was the woman actually running the initiative, Jovita Carranza. Trump, his daughter Ivanka and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin all lauded the program despite its rocky start at the beginning of April. Carranza, who was charged with processing hundreds of billions of dollars in loans only months into her new job as the head of the Small Business Administration, smiled approvingly, but was never asked to speak.

Carranza’s sideline role at the April 28 event was emblematic of the challenges facing her agency, which has long been treated as a backwater in Washington. Despite its checkered track record in disaster response, the SBA is now responsible for a $669 billion program to rescue the 30 million small firms that make up nearly half the U.S. economy. Naomi Nix and Mark Niquette take a closer look at the agency’s role in the pandemic.

Trade Bailout Overpaid Farmers, Favored Cotton: The Trump administration’s $28 billion trade bailout largely overpaid farmers for their losses, with southern cotton farmers receiving the most outsized gains, according to researchers at Kansas State University. The payout to cotton farmers in the bailout’s second round was 33 times the estimated financial impact of tariff disputes with China and other nations, according to the study, published this week in an academic journal. The U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t immediately provide a comment on the findings. A spokeswoman for the National Cotton Council said its estimates indicate growers were under-compensated for trade losses. Read more from Mike Dorning.

 

Campaign Trail

Trump Scandal Fight Revived: Scandals that rocked Donald Trump’s first years as president came roaring back on two fronts yesterday, as the Justice Department suddenly abandoned its case against his first national security adviser and House Democrats released thousands of pages of transcripts on whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia in the 2016 election. The move by the Justice Department to vacate the prosecution of Michael Flynn for lying to FBI agents came after weeks of demands by Trump and his allies to redress what the president often calls a Democratic “hoax” and a “witch hunt” intended to tar his administration. Trump cheered the reversal on Flynn, which provoked outrage from Democrats, who again accused Attorney General William Barr of doing Trump’s partisan bidding and renewed demands that he resign.

The transcript release closed out a lengthy saga over a series of interviews with Trump advisers and former Obama administration officials. The papers reveal Trump confidants resisting lawmakers repeatedly, declining to answer questions and saying they didn’t recall specific moments. Ultimately, the probe ended with each party releasing competing reports, with Republicans clearing Trump and Democrats accusing his 2016 campaign of malfeasance. As the U.S. now grapples with an economic and a health crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Flynn case and the Mueller inquiry seem almost like ancient history. But with the 2020 election just months away, those events provide ammunition both for the president’s most ardent supporters and his bitterest opponents.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the transcripts showed Trump “invited illicit Russian help, made full use of that help, and then lied and obstructed the investigations in order to cover up this misconduct.” Republicans, however, have been trying to build a case that the entire Russia investigation was built on a pretext by Obama-era officials. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, noted that the transcripts show James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, testified he “never saw any direct empirical evidence” of plotting with the Russians even though there were concerns about “anecdotal evidence.” “But Adam Schiff and the Democrats put us through three years of the Mueller probe anyways?” he tweeted. “Ridiculous.” Read more from Chris Strohm and Billy House.

 

Other stories

DOD Management Officer Job Said ‘Not Working Out,’: A newly completed review confirms that the Pentagon chief management officer position created two years ago to overhaul department spending is “not working out,” House Armed Services ranking member Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said. The Defense Business Board approved findings critical of the chief management officer this week in the review ordered by Congress and it recommended changes to the post, Thornberry said, Travis J. Tritten and Roxana Tiron report.

China and U.S. Agree to Cooperate on Trade Deal: The top trade negotiators for China and the U.S. pledged to create favorable conditions for implementation of the bilateral trade deal and cooperate on the economy and public health. Read more.

Barr Vows to Push Overturning of Obamacare: Attorney General Barr said the Justice Department would continue its efforts to invalidate Obamacare even as millions of Americans have lost their health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, Chris Strohm and John Harney report.

Kansas Solicitor General Tapped for Federal Court: Kansas Solicitor General Toby Crouse, who argued and won two cases for his state at the U.S. Supreme Court this term, is Trump’s latest pick for a federal trial court seat in the state. Read more on the pick from Madison Alder.

Amazon Files Second JEDI Challenge: Amazon filed a second challenge this week against the Pentagon’s decision to choose rival Microsoft for a cloud contract worth as much as $10 billion. Naomi Nix has more.

U.S. Pulls Some Patriot Batteries from Mideast: The U.S. has removed two of its four Patriot antimissile batteries from Saudi Arabia and another two in the Mideast partly because tensions with Iran have eased from a peak earlier this year, according to a U.S. official, Tony Capaccio and Glen Carey report.

U.S. Says Huawei Shouldn’t Share Evidence With CFO: Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou shouldn’t be permitted to see “sensitive” evidence the government has collected, lawyers for the U.S. said, arguing that she’s a fugitive and not entitled to the material, Patricia Hurtado reports.

 

Today on the Hill

White House

  • 10:00 am – In-House Pool Call Time
  • 11:20 am – Trump and Melania depart the White House en route to the World War II Memorial
  • 11:25 am – Trump and Melania arrive at the World War II Memorial
  • 12:30 pm – Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany holds briefing
  • 12:40pm – Pence holds discussion with faith leaders on responsible religious gatherings in Des Moines, Iowa
  • 1:00 pm – Trump meets with Republican lawmakers
  • 1:55pm – Pence participates in roundtable discussion on securing the food supply at Hy-Vee Inc. in Iowa

 

Senate

  • Senate returns on Monday to consider nomination of Brian Montgomery to be HUD deputy sec.

Coronavirus Response: The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee plans a hearing Tuesday on returning to work and school safely as Covid-19-related shutdowns are lifted. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Robert Redfield, FDA Administrator Stephen Hahn, and Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir are scheduled to testify.

The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee plans a hearing Thursday on scientific integrity in the Covid-19 response. The panel has asked Rick Bright, the former Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority director who was reassigned, to testify. Bright said he was ousted over his concerns regarding a drug pushed by the Trump administration to treat the coronavirus and clashed repeatedly with his superiors over other issues related to the pandemic, according to a complaint he filed on Tuesday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will examine liability during the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday.

Financial Regulator Oversight: The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee holds an oversight hearing of financial regulators on Tuesday. Witnesses include Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Randal Quarles, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Jelena McWIlliams, and National Credit Union Administration Chairman Rodney Hood.

Cybersecurity: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee meets Wednesday for a hearing on updating U.S. cybersecurity strategy and posture based on the Cyberspace Solarium Commission report.

Broadband: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will discuss the state of broadband connectivity and the Covid-19 pandemic on Wednesday. The CEOs of telecommunications trade groups including the Competitive Carriers Association, Rural Broadband Association and USTelecom will testify.

Nominations: The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on nominations Thursday including Stephen Schwartz and Kathryn Davis to be judges on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, six district judges, one U.S. attorney and one U.S. marshal.

 

House

  • House leaders last week abandoned plans to reconvene today, citing concern about Covid-19 spread

Both chambers are trying to figure out next steps on response to the coronavirus

 

Yesterday’s Legislative Action

 

  1. S.3639— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to require the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to discount FHA single-family mortgage insurance premium payments for first-time homebuyers who complete a financial literacy housing counseling program. Sponsor: Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (1)Committees: Senate – Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
  2. S.3640— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow certain taxpayers a 2-year carryback of net operating losses and to restore and make permanent the limitation on excess business losses of non-corporate taxpayers. Sponsor: Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (23)Committees: Senate – Finance Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  3. S.3641— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to designate the area between the intersections of International Drive, Northwest and Van Ness Street, Northwest and International Drive, Northwest and International Place, Northwest in Washington, District of Columbia, as “Li Wenliang Plaza”, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Cotton, Tom [R-AR] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (3)Committees: Senate – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  4. S.3642— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to mobilize individuals in the United States in the fight against coronavirus by expanding volunteer opportunities in AmeriCorps, expanding employment opportunities at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and utilizing the expertise of Peace Corps volunteer leaders whose service ended on March 15, 2020, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (2)Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  5. S.3643— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize certain postgraduate health care employees and health professions trainees of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide treatment via telemedicine, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Loeffler, Kelly [R-GA] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (1)Committees: Senate – Veterans’ Affairs Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
  6. S.3644— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act to improve the quality of care in skilled nursing facilities under the Medicare program and nursing facilities under the Medicare program during the COVID-19 emergency period, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (1)Committees: Senate – Finance Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  7. S.3645— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to require the release of most aliens detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during a national emergency related to a communicable disease. Sponsor: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (6)Committees: Senate – Judiciary Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  8. S.3646— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to require the transfer or release of certain individuals in the custody of the United States because of their risk of exposure during a national emergency, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (2)Committees: Senate – Judiciary Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  9. S.3647— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to prohibit price gouging for necessary products during Federally declared national emergencies or disasters. Sponsor: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Commerce, Science, and Transportation Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  10. S.3648— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to provide for a high-speed broadband deployment initiative. Sponsor: Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (1)Committees: Senate – Environment and Public Works Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  11. S.3649— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to promote competition, to preserve the ability of local governments to provide broadband capacity and services, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (6)Committees: Senate – Commerce, Science, and Transportation Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  12. S.3650— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to deem employees of urban Indian organizations as part of the Public Health Service for certain purposes, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (3)Committees: Senate – Indian Affairs Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
  13. S.3651— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to prohibit school food authorities and local educational agencies from collecting unpaid school meal fees during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  14. S.3652— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to allow 2020 recovery rebates with respect to qualifying children over the age of 16 and other dependents. Sponsor: Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (21)Committees: Senate – Finance Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
  15. S.3653— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to allow tax credits to State and local governments for required paid sick leave and required paid family and medical leave. Sponsor: Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (5)Committees: Senate – Finance Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  16. S.3654— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to provide that certain public hospitals are eligible for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (3)Committees: Senate – Small Business and Entrepreneurship Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
  17. S.3655— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to provide funding for targeted purchases of qualified agricultural products from producers that rely on local agricultural food markets affected by COVID-19, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  18. S.3656— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to authorize a comprehensive, strategic approach for United States foreign assistance to developing countries to strengthen global health security, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (1)Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  19. S.3657— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to provide for the coverage of medically necessary food and vitamins and individual amino acids for digestive and inherited metabolic disorders under Federal health programs and private health insurance, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (1)Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  20. S.3658— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to establish an Office of Equal Rights and Community Inclusion at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  21. S.3659— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to provide State and local workforce and career and technical education systems the support to respond to the COVID-19 national emergency. Sponsor: Sen. Murray, Patty [D-WA] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (8)Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  22. S.3660— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to provide emergency funding for caseworkers and child protective services. Sponsor: Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (5)Committees: Senate – Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  23. S.3661— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend section 151 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991 to allow danger pay for the U.S. Marshals Service. Sponsor: Sen. Cotton, Tom [R-AR] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (2)Committees: Senate – Foreign Relations Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  24. S.3662— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend title 28, United States Code, to provide a civil action against a foreign state for deliberate concealment or distortion of information with respect to an international public health emergency, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Cotton, Tom [R-AR] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Judiciary Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  25. S.3663— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to protect the privacy of consumers’ personal health information, proximity data, device data, and geolocation data during the coronavirus public health crisis. Sponsor: Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (4)Committees: Senate – Commerce, Science, and Transportation Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  26. S.3664— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to enhance the independence of Inspectors General, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  27. S.3665— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend the title XVIII of the Social Security Act to preserve access to rural health care by ensuring fairness in Medicare hospital payments. Sponsor: Sen. Alexander, Lamar [R-TN] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (7)Committees: Senate – Finance Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  28. S.3666— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to fund grants for the immediate deployment of temporary wireless broadband service on Tribal lands and Hawaiian Home Lands, to provide emergency special temporary authority to use electromagnetic spectrum for the provision of wireless broadband service on Tribal lands and Hawaiian Home Lands, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Heinrich, Martin [D-NM] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Indian Affairs Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
  29. S.3667— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to require the establishment of a repatriation task force during major infectious disease outbreaks, to authorize additional paid leave for employees of certain independent agencies involved in the conduct of foreign affairs, and to extend the application period and use of certain special immigrant visas. Sponsor: Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Foreign Relations Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  30. S.3668— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to assist COVID-19 recovery efforts in Sudan. Sponsor: Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Foreign Relations Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  31. S.3669— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (9)Committees: Senate – Foreign Relations Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  32. S.3670— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Gila River System in the State of New Mexico as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, to provide for the transfer of administrative jurisdiction over certain Federal land in the State of New Mexico, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Udall, Tom [D-NM] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (1)Committees: Senate – Energy and Natural Resources Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  33. S.3671— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A bill to amend title VI of the Social Security Act to provide additional funding for States, Tribal Governments, and local communities due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Reed, Jack [D-RI] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Appropriations Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.
  34. S.J.Res.68— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress. Sponsor: Sen. Kaine, Tim [D-VA] (Introduced 01/09/2020) Cosponsors: (31)Committees: Senate – Foreign Relations Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Failed of passage in Senate over veto by Yea-Nay Vote. 49 – 44. Record Vote Number: 84.
  35. S.J.Res.71— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A joint resolution withdrawing approval of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. Sponsor: Sen. Hawley, Josh [R-MO] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (0)Committees: Senate – Finance Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
  36. S.Res.564— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A resolution commemorating May 8, 2020, the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, the day on which the Allies achieved victory in Europe during World War II, and honoring Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force for the invasion of Europe in 1944 and the 34th President of the United States. Sponsor: Sen. Roberts, Pat [R-KS] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (1)Committees: Senate – Foreign Relations Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  37. S.Res.565— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A resolution recognizing the heritage, culture, and contributions of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women in the United States. Sponsor: Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (31)Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Voice Vote.
  38. S.Res.566— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A resolution commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Katyn Massacre. Sponsor: Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (2)Committees: Senate – Foreign Relations Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  39. S.Res.567— 116th Congress (2019-2020)A resolution commending career professionals at the Department of State for their extensive efforts to repatriate United States citizens and legal permanent residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sponsor: Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] (Introduced 05/07/2020) Cosponsors: (11)Committees: Senate – Foreign Relations Latest Action: Senate – 05/07/2020 Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  40. S.Amdt.1581 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)Purpose: In the nature of a substitute. Amends Bill: S.3608Sponsor: Sen. Kennedy, John [R-LA] (Submitted 05/07/2020)Committees: Senate – Appropriations Latest Action: 05/07/20 Referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

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