Senate GOP ‘Skinny’ Stimulus Bill Includes Liability Protection, New PPP Round

Senate Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a “skinny” economic stimulus bill that calls for another round of Payroll Protection Program loans, a simplified loan forgiveness process and limited liability for businesses reopening during the coronavirus economic crisis.

The Senate is likely to vote on the bill later this week.  It is unlikely the measure has the votes to pass, but it could serve as the next step in the haggling over the next stimulus legislation.

Democratic Senators Call Coronavirus Business Immunity ‘Unconscionable’

Senate Republican plans to provide liability immunity to businesses as they reopen following the pandemic are “unconscionable,” 42 senators said this week in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The group, which includes Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), would be enough to block Senate consideration of pandemic-related legislation if the senators decide it is a large enough issue to oppose the overall bill. Due to the filibuster rule it often takes 60, rather than 51 senators, for controversial legislation to pass the Senate. The immunity provisions remain a sticking point as lawmakers and the Trump Administration try

Sen. Schatz Introduces Legislation to Create CDFI Emergency Fund

Amid signs that federal pandemic assistance funds have not reached businesses that need them the most, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) this week introduced legislation creating a new $2 billion emergency fund for Community Development Financial Institutions.

The legislation, S. 4430, would automatically provide capital for CDFIs during a natural disaster or economic crisis. The legislation is cosponsored by nine Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.