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On the Hill: Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility

The House passed the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010) on a 417-1 vote to loosen some restrictions on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relief funds and extend the timeline for businesses to use the funding. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate.

America’s Essential Hospitals staff will continue to track H.R. 7010 and similar legislation making small, technical fixes to the PPP. Movement on this or other bills related to COVID-19 could present an opportunity to advocate for essential hospital priorities.

Meanwhile, negotiations on the next COVID-19 supplemental package are not expected to begin for at least a few weeks.

COVID-19 Hearings

The House and Senate are in session this week and will conduct committee work related to COVID-19.

No floor votes are expected in the House until the end of June, so most legislative activities likely will occur in committees. House leaders plan to use the upcoming weeks to undertake committee hearings and mark ups to prepare must-pass legislation, such as appropriations bills, for floor consideration in the summer.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will host a June 2 virtual hearing, at 11:30 am ET, on how governors respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearing will feature governors from Arkansas, Colorado, and Michigan.

The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a June 2 hearing, at 2:30 pm ET, examining the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to inspect foreign drug manufacturing.

On Thursday June 4, at 11 am ET, the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing on the COVID-19 response, featuring Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, MD.

Upcoming Association Webinar

America’s Essential Hospitals will host a May 27 webinar, at 2 pm ET, with member UW Harborview Medical Center, in Seattle. The webinar will examine the early days of the COVID-19 crisis in Seattle, as well as unexpected challenges, lessons learned, and insights to help hospitals prepare for potential surges and future resurgence. 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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