ABC has been working with Congress, administration officials and business coalitions to support critical priorities in any relief deals that will ensure the construction industry is able to survive, thrive and recover from this pandemic.
ABC’s priorities were highlighted in a letter to House and Senate leadership, a letter from ABC and other business organizations and a letter from national organizations and state affiliates; the latter two address Paycheck Protection Program tax deductibility. ABC also continues to push action alerts and encourage ABC members to contact their U.S. representatives and senators to ensure their voices are heard and needs are met.
There are several events that have taken place recently that is significant for our members. On Dec. 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease, kicking off the largest immunization program in U.S. history. The White House and Congress are working to reach an agreement on an additional COVID-19 relief package before the end of the year while many areas across the country are experiencing spikes in coronavirus cases and additional measures are being implemented on the state and local levels to curb infections.
House and Senate leaders are hoping to reach a deal while a bipartisan working group of members in the House and Senate look to submit their own proposal for consideration this week. The sticking points throughout negotiations continue to be Republicans insistence on liability protections for businesses while Democrats are pushing for billions more in funding for state and local governments.
Reports indicate that the bipartisan group will propose two separate packages for relief efforts. The first, a $748 billion package that includes noncontroversial policies such as new unemployment benefits and additional small business funding through the Paycheck Protection Program. The second deals with divisive issues surrounding COVID-19 relief through a roughly $160 billion package, which would include liability protection for businesses and state and local funding to combat the virus. It remains to be seen if House and Senate leadership as well as rank and file members will support these proposals moving forward. Also at play is the government funding deadline at midnight on Friday, which has created an impetus for a deal ahead of Congress leaving town for the holidays.
ABC will continue to inform members about the latest COVID-19 relief initiatives and will continue advocacy efforts, so our members can resume working safely while building their communities.