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.