January 19, 2021

Volume XI, Number 19

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January 19, 2021

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January 18, 2021

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Congress Passes COVID-19 Relief and Stimulus Package

On Monday, December 21, Congress enacted a $900 billion stimulus package to support American workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19. The measure represents a last-minute bipartisan agreement by a lame duck Congress to provide much-needed support as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country. Notably, the bill does not include funding to states and local governments, and does not provide any liability protections for businesses related to COVID-19. Those are issues favored by Democrats and Republicans respectively, and were dropped in the compromise.

The legislation includes funding for individual stimulus checks, a restart and expansion of the popular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) (including clarification that business expenses paid with PPP loan funds are tax deductible), other new and expanded SBA loan programs, direct targeted funding to certain industries, unemployment compensation program extensions, payroll and other tax credits and deductions. The overall legislation will take effect when signed, but individual programs and provisions may have unique effective dates that are separate from the general effectiveness date.

While President Trump has until December 28 to sign the legislation into law, on Tuesday evening, December 22, he called upon Congress to enact an amendment to increase the amount of payments to individuals from $600 to $2000.  He has also expressed discontent with other provisions of the bill, causing some uncertainty as to whether he will sign it or force Congress to take further action.

​Given this uncertainty, we recognize that certain provisions of the bill may change. However, we know that these Congressional stimulus and relief efforts are of great interest to our clients, and we will continue to keep you apprised of any changes to the legislation and its final outcome. The following summaries are based on the version of the law enacted by Congress on December 21.

For a comprehensive review of these provisions and more, please see the following Pierce Atwood alerts:

Business and Tax Relief – including the PPP, other SBA lending, targeted financial aid to certain industries, and payroll and business tax credits and deductions.

Energy Investment Stimulus – including clean energy reforms, research and development, and extension and enhancement of renewable energy tax credits.

Individuals, Families and Workers Relief – including direct stimulus payments and unemployment programs.

Health Care Providers, Patients, COVID-19 Mitigation, and Vaccination – including additional grant money for providers, ending surprise medical billing, and additional support for COVID-19 mitigation.

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©2020 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 360
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Newell Augur Government Relations Attorney Pierce Atwood Law Firm
Counsel

Newell Augur has nearly 20 years of experience in Maine in the fields of government relations and administrative law, cultivating long-standing relationships with state government officials and other policy leaders. Newell’s experience includes designing and executing his clients’ legislative strategy, enlisting and organizing stakeholders, serving as spokesperson for press events, and monitoring initiatives that affect client operations.

In addition to representing businesses, nonprofits, and other clients before the Maine Legislature and state agencies, Newell has led three...

207-791-1281
Elizabeth Frazier Govt Relations Attorney Pierce Atwood Law Firm
Associate

Elizabeth Frazier focuses her practice on government relations, dividing her time between Pierce Atwood’s Portland and Augusta, Maine offices.

A native of Maine, Elizabeth grew up around her family’s small business, working on all aspects of business growth and management. She has an intimate understanding of the realities and requirements of running a business in Maine.

Additionally, she has worked in government and politics throughout her career. In 2008, Elizabeth worked as a grass roots coordinator for Obama for President in New Hampshire. Elizabeth then followed her...

207-791-1155
Andrea Maker Healthcare Attorney Pierce Atwood Law Firm Portland
Partner

Andrea Maker provides governmental relations services in Maine and in Washington, DC with Maine's Congressional delegation. Her practice includes lobbying, government contracts, and strategic positioning of organizations. Her advocacy focus areas include economic development, workforce development, health care and real estate.

Andrea maintains strong relationships with Maine’s legislative leaders, Governors and cabinet members. She is well connected across the State and has personal relationships with countless other policy makers, business...

207-791-1101
Ann Robinson, Pierce Atwood Law Firm, Augusta and Portland, Health Care Law Attorney
Partner

Ann Robinson is a partner in Pierce Atwood's Government Relations and Health Care Practice Groups.

A highly regarded Maine attorney and lobbyist, Ann was a partner and former Chair of the Government Affairs Practice Group at a large Maine law firm, where she built an active legislative and regulatory law practice focusing primarily in the areas of health care, insurance, and professional regulation.

Ann most recently served as General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs for Spectrum Medical Group, P.A., Northern...

207-791-1186
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