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On the Hill: House Continues COVID-19 Work via Proxy Voting

The House this week is expected to use its temporary proxy voting authority for the first time to revise the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Lawmakers last week approved a resolution temporarily changing House rules to permit proxy voting and remote committee work. The changes enable representatives to conduct legislative business without returning to the Capitol during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House is slated to vote on legislation to amend the PPP to increase to 24 weeks the amount of time small businesses have to spend emergency aid, up from eight weeks. The legislation would grant small businesses additional time to spend funds on qualified expenses, which is a condition for forgiving a portion of the financial relief.

Lawmakers also are expected to use the new proxy voting authority to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Senate earlier this month amended and reauthorized the federal surveillance program.

Meanwhile, the House will continue to move forward with committee business related to COVID-19. The Committee on Ways and Means will hold a May 27 hearing to examine the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. On May 28, the Committee on Education and Labor’s Workforce Protection Subcommittee will hold a rescheduled hearing to examine the federal government’s actions to protect workers from COVID-19.

The Senate is in recess this week and plans to return to Washington June 1.

Upcoming Association Webinar

America’s Essential Hospitals will host a May 27 webinar, at 2 pm ET, on how COVID-19 affects behavioral and mental health outcomes and how member hospitals adapt existing support structures to serve vulnerable populations during the pandemic. Webinars are open to all association members.

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About the Author

Nikki Hurt is a manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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