This week, Congress began working on the passage of additional COVID-19 relief for individuals and businesses. Negotiations will largely rely on the ability of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to produce a bill that both sides can agree on and that the president will sign.
Some of the main issues of contention in the package will be additional billions in aid to state and local governments, liability protection for employers and extension of federal unemployment assistance for millions of unemployed individuals.
ABC is working to ensure that critical priorities for the construction industry are incorporated in the package, including:
- Targeted liability relief legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic that would safeguard businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and healthcare providers and facilities from unfair lawsuits, so that they can continue to contribute to a safe and effective recovery from this pandemic. McConnell said this is necessary for any additional relief legislation.
- Legislation to ensure Paycheck Protection Program loans are tax deductible. While the IRS has stated that borrowers receiving loans through the PPP are not permitted to deduct normally deductible expenses that were reimbursed by a PPP loan that was forgiven, key lawmakers have pushed back against the IRS claim and introduced the Small Business Expense Protection Act (S. 3612), which would clarify that small businesses can deduct expenses paid with a forgiven PPP loan from their taxes.
- The expansion of the employee retention tax credit and inclusion of the Jumpstarting Our Businesses’ Success Credit Act (H.R. 6776) in the relief package, which would make a number of targeted improvements to the Employee Retention Tax Credit to better fulfill its goal of keeping workers connected to their jobs during this crisis.
- The expansion of PPP loans for 501(c)(6) organizations, including ABC state and local chapters, through the inclusion of the bipartisan Local Chamber, Tourism and 501(c)(6) Protection Act (H.R. 6697).This would expand the program to encompass organizations with 300 or fewer employees that operate under section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. The bill currently has 109 bipartisan cosponsors.
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