May 11, 2021

Volume XI, Number 131


May 10, 2021

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Government And Agencies Tackling COVID-19 Economic, Tax Relief

Effective March 18, 2020, the Senate approved and President Trump signed H.R. 6201 into law, the second stimulus package originally proposed by the House. This bill establishes emergency sick leave as well as emergency paid family sick leave for companies with fewer than 500 employees. Additionally, the bill creates a refundable tax credit for companies providing sick leave and family sick leave.

As COVID-19 countermeasures continue to sweep across the United States, states and local municipalities are enacting restrictions in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Many local governments have placed bans or restrictions on dine-in restaurants, bars and casinos, closed gyms and libraries and halted cultural activities, and have encouraged residents to remain at home and venture out only for essential activities such as medical care and food. 

Congress and federal agencies also remain active in considering stimulus measures to offset the economic effects of COVID-19. The most recent move is by the U.S. Treasury, which stated that taxes still need to be filed, but individual taxpayers with less than $1 million in taxes due, or companies with less than $10 million in taxes due, will receive an automatic 90-day filing extension with no penalty or interest.

Earlier this month, Congress passed and President Trump signed an $8 billion emergency funding measure directed to federal health agencies for vaccines, medical supplies and other products

On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency to provide greater federal funding and services, which , allows, for example, additional funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and gives federal health agencies broader latitude to respond to the crisis.

Even as the Senate was considering H.R. 6201, work had already begun on a third stimulus package with more sweeping provisions with proposals from both sides of the aisle including:

  • Sending direct checks from Treasury to individual taxpayers (approximately $500 billion)
  • Establishing loan and relief programs for small business (approximately $250 billion)
  • Providing relief to airlines and the travel industry (approximately $50 billion)
  • Infrastructure for hospital beds, public transit, medical equipment such as ventilators and masks, and schools and children’s welfare, estimated at $400 billion
  • Additional provisions for unemployment, student debt and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, estimated at $350 billion

The details of these proposals are all still being debated and crafted into legislation, but if introduced, are expected to be quickly passed by both the House and Senate. President Trump has expressed his support for these measures and is expected to sign the third stimulus package into law.

There is also talk of a fourth stimulus package. Details about what would be included are vague, but it is expected to address economic recovery and provide assistance to sectors of the economy that have been particularly hard hit. 

Developments on these stimulus packages, as well as the governmental response to COVID-19, are happening hour-by-hour in this dynamic situation.

© 2021 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 79



About this Author

Robert T. Grand Government Contract & Corporate Attorney Barnes & Thornburg Law Firm
Managing Partner

Bob has four continuous decades of government relations practice, where he represents public and private clients before state and federal agencies and Congress. Bob is a leader of character who cares deeply about what is important to his colleagues at all levels and the clients they represent. An active listener and conscientious problem-solver, Bob leads by example and is appreciated for his ability to identify bigger picture opportunities that maximize individual and firmwide potential.

Bob works with the firm’s Management Committee and...

David Paragas Corporate Law Attorney Barnes & Thornburg Law Firm Columbus

David Paragas serves as a devoted advocate who emphasizes technical strength and preparation. David represents a wide array of clients in forums that stretch from the statehouse to the courthouse – and on issues that range from healthcare to educational programs to homelessness.

Co-chair of the firm’s Federal Relations practice, David advises on policy matters before the White House and federal agencies and the Ohio General Assembly, state agencies and departments. David provides clients with more than three decades of legislative, political,...

Edward Ayoob Legislative Counsel Barnes Thornburg

Edward is the former legislative counsel, tax counsel, appropriations manager, and foreign affairs advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D ' NV). He was also the senator's chief aide on judicial nominations and other issues related to the senator's leadership role.

Edward also served as Majority Leader Reid's assistant finance director on the senator's successful 1998 reelection campaign.

He has worked in the government and represented clients' interests before the government for 20 years.

Craig Burkhardt Government Relations Lawyer Barnes Thornburg

Craig represents clients in federal government relations, federal regulation and foreign agent registration matters. He also practices election law, and has twice served as president of the Republican National Lawyers Association, and as chief counsel for the Republican leader of the Illinois House of Representatives and general counsel of the Illinois Republican Party. He regularly provides legal, political and transition-team assistance to federal and state Republican candidates and organizations – notably including the Trump presidential campaign organization and...