Over the weekend, President Trump signed the $2.3 trillion funding package into law, which includes $1.4 trillion in government funding and $900 billion in COVID relief. The legislation extends the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and clarifies PPP expenses as tax deductible. The bill also provides $600 stimulus checks for adults and dependents, restores $300/week in additional unemployment assistance, increases SNAP benefits by 15 percent for six months (but does not expand eligibility), and allocates $20 billion in new targeted economic injury disaster loans (EIDL) for low-income communities.

Congressional leaders, however, could not reach an agreement to include Democratic priorities for additional state and local government aid and Republican’s liability protections. In signing the bill, President Trump still demanded Congress replace the $600 stimulus payments with $2,000, although it is unlikely to have enough votes to pass.

The COVID relief/government spending passage marks the end of an eventful month in Washington, DC. However, Congress still has one outstanding action on its plate before the 117th Congress begins. Congress must return this week to hold a vote to override the President’s veto of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for nearly ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for staff, elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association.