This week in Congress, talks continue between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, other Republican congressional leaders and members of the Trump Administration to finalize another stimulus package for COVID-19 relief. Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin have been negotiating for weeks over the size and scope of the bill.
In early October, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, a $2.2 trillion relief package that includes renewed unemployment and sick leave benefits, direct individual stimulus payments and an expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans for small businesses. However, there has been no movement on this legislation in the Senate, and it is not likely to pass in the current form.
Although negotiations have been stalled, there is still hope for bipartisan support of a stimulus bill after the Nov. 3 election when Congress returns. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is encouraging Congress to move on the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus bill prior to adjournment in December.
If passed, a new stimulus package would provide aid for individuals and businesses struggling due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Legislators are considering a second round of direct individual payments of $1,200. Perhaps the most important would be the reactivation and expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which distributes low-interest and forgivable loans to small businesses such as auto repair shops.
ASA urges shop owners to write a letter to their representative urging them to pass a new stimulus package as soon as possible and include a second PPP initiative. This legislation will provide much-needed stimulus for the national economy, as well as support for individuals and businesses still struggling in the midst of the pandemic. To send a letter to your representative, click here and fill out your information.