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Advice for Businesses in Dealing with the Expanding Coronavirus Events

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Daily Financial Regulation Update -- Thursday, August 6, 2020

By
FedACTion Task Force
On Aug 05, 2020

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Congress

Click here to view the full text of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), Enacted March 27, 2020.

Click here to view the full text of the Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act of 2020, Enacted April 24, 2020.

Click here to view the full text of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, Enacted June 5, 2020.

Click here to view a running list of proposed legislation from the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, House Committee on Financial Services, and House Committee on Small Business.

U.S. Senate

Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Senators Rubio and Collins Urge Colleagues to Pass Small Business Relief Amendments

August 5, 2020

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, released statements regarding two substantive amendments they filed to ensure Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding is extended and small businesses have access to the PPP. Senators Rubio and Collins, along with Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-authored the PPP as part of the CARES Act.

U.S. House of Representatives

Legislation Introduced Requiring the Federal Reserve to Close Racial Employment and Wage Gaps Exacerbated by COVID-19

August 5, 2020

Legislation to require that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve use its existing authorities to close racial employment and wage gaps which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and report on how the gaps change over time has been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are the sponsors of the legislation.

Congressional Oversight Commission

Congressional Oversight Commission Announces Hearing on Main Street Lending Program

The Congressional Oversight Commission announced it will hold a virtual hearing on August 7, 2020 at 10 a.m., Eastern, on the Main Street Lending Program. Hearing participants will include Eric Rosengren, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Federal Agencies

Department of the Treasury

Economic Activity Report to the Secretary of the Treasury from the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

August 5, 2020

The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a report from the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association regarding economic activity in the second quarter of 2020. The report notes that economic activity plunged in the second quarter of 2020, with a 32.9% annualized decline in real Gross Domestic Product, the largest quarterly decline in post-war history. The COVID-19 pandemic has weighed heavily on the economy, with widespread lockdowns significantly constraining economic activity. Since the peak decline in activity in April, the economy has started to reopen and activity has picked up, but it remains well below levels prior to the pandemic.

Quarterly Refunding Statement of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance Brian Smith

August 5, 2020

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued the Quarterly Refunding Statement of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance Brian Smith. Treasury is offering $112 billion of Treasury securities to refund approximately $49.5 billion of privately held Treasury notes and bonds maturing on August 15, 2020. The issuance will raise new cash of approximately $62.5 billion. Treasury continues to face unprecedented borrowing needs because of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Treasury has substantially increased both bill issuance and coupon auction sizes, raising an unprecedented $1.462 trillion on net ($1.052 trillion in bills) since May 1, 2020.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Blog Post on Reconsidering the Phase One Trade Deal with China in the Midst of the Pandemic

August 5, 2020

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Liberty Street Economics blog released a blog post on reconsidering the Phase One trade deal with China in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trade tensions between the U.S. and China eased with the Phase One agreement in January. Under the deal, China committed to a massive increase in its purchases of U.S. goods and services. At that time, the U.S. economy was operating near full capacity. The U.S. economy is now operating far below potential in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Any appreciable increase in exports from the agreement could deliver a meaningful boost to the U.S. economy. 

State Agencies

New York State Department of Financial Services

Governor Cuomo Announces Department of Financial Services Takes Action to Protect Patients from PPE Fees

August 5, 2020

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued new guidance to New York health insurers to ensure that healthcare providers that participate in their insurer’s network do not charge patients personal protective equipment (PPE) fees.

The DFS has received consumer complaints that participating healthcare providers, particularly dental providers, are improperly charging their patients fees for PPE or other charges related to increased costs due to COVID-19, which fees are being passed to their insurers and go beyond the insured patient’s applicable cost-sharing. According to DFS, a participating provider should not charge a patient fees or other charges in addition to the patient’s financial responsibility for covered services and insurers should not cover these charges. In addition, DFS does not approve policy or contract provisions that hold the insured patient responsible for the cost of a participating provider’s PPE.