Congress is working to agree upon a third round of stimulus to help individuals and companies still reeling from the economic and public health crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Toward that end, Republicans in the U.S. Senate have introduced the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, a nearly $1T package that includes provisions for (1) additional forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to help hard-hit small businesses remain viable, (2) reduced enhancement to unemployment benefits ($200 from $600) for those out of work, and (3) more $1,200 direct payments to most Americans.
Of course, there is much more to the HEALS Act, but a long look at the proposed legislation seems futile given that it is rather unlikely to pass—there is intense opposition to the bill coming from both sides of the political aisle. For their part, Democrats in Congress are looking for a much more robust stimulus plan, while many Senate Republicans are reluctant to earmark yet another trillion dollars in government spending.
All that being said, most view the HEALS Act as simply an opening salvo or starting place for ongoing negotiations. Michelman & Robinson will continue to monitor the legislative process and report back when a viable compromise is reached.
This blog post is not offered, and should not be relied on, as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.