Advocacy & Policy Update - July 27, 2020




On Friday, July 24, the House passed a $259.5 billion four-bill minibus spending package (HR 7608 (116)) on a vote of 224-189. The bill gives funding boosts to numerous agencies while imposing new restrictions on the Trump Administration - making it highly unlikely to be passed by the Senate or signed into law by the President.  It includes State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction-VA funding measures. The massive spending package is the first to move through any chamber of Congress this year, but it’s almost certain lawmakers will settle on a stopgap spending bill to fund the government through FY21.

On Monday, July 20, House Appropriators unveiled the details of a $1.4 trillion spending package that the lower chamber plans to pass this week. This minibus (HR 7617 (116)), combines Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy-Water, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS-Education, and Transportation-HUD spending bills. The House is on track to clear all of its FY21 funding measures by the end of July. Ultimately, House leaders decided to punt the funding bill for the Legislative Branch, citing possible barriers to spending negotiations, which include a Democratic provision that would remove Confederate statues from public spaces in the Capitol building.

Click here to read the division-by-division summary of the four-bill package.

Click here to access the full four-bill minibus package.

Click here to read division-by-division summary of the seven-bill package.

Click here to read the full seven-bill package.

Final Coronavirus Bill

Senate Republicans are set to release their proposal for the next round of coronavirus relief spending today. The $1 trillion package is expected to include another round of direct payments to Americans, the reduction of an expanded jobless benefit and funding for schools and testing. This will kick start negotiations with House Democrats on what is expected to be the last major COVID-19 funding package before the presidential election.

Congress is scheduled to go on recess in the beginning of August with the Senate leaving town on August 7 and the House scheduled to depart on July 31 until early September. On Sunday, Speaker Pelosi reiterated that lawmakers could not leave Washington without a deal and to remain flexible on travel plans.

Initial Jobless Claims

In the week ending July 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,416,000, an increase of 109,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 7,000 from 1,300,000 to 1,307,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,360,250, a decrease of 16,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,750 from 1,375,000 to 1,376,750. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 11.1 percent for the week ending July 11, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point from the previous week's revised rate. 

Click here to read the full report.

Click here to read the entire July 27 weekly legislative update.

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