President Trump Signs $2 Trillion “CARES” Relief Bill But Issues Statement Undermining Oversight by New IG

President Trump issued a signing statement on Friday that suggests he see limits on the extent of oversight to be provided by the new Special Inspector General for Pandemic Response (SIGPR). Created in the legislation, the SIGPR is intended to “conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations of the making, purchase, management, and sale of loans, loan guarantees, and other investments made by the Secretary of the Treasury under any program” under the new Act. The SIGPR is directed under the legislation to provide quarterly reports to Congress — and to inform Congress if agencies unreasonably refuse to provide requested information. In critiquing the role of the SIGPR in the signed bill, the President stated, “I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the SIGPR to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required by the Take Care Clause, Article II, section 3.”

House Passes the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) ACT”

The House passed H.R. 748 by voice vote this afternoon with a quorum present and over the objections of one representative. The legislation now heads to the President. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin stated Thursday (referencing portions of the legislation that call for payments to individuals) that Americans should expect to see money in their hands (typically via direct deposit) in three weeks.

Department of Labor Reports that 3.28 million people filed for unemployment for week ending March 21, 2020

DOL numbers released Thursday reveal both a rise from the prior week (just 282,000 claims filed) and an all-time high that is more than 4 times greater than ever recorded (the previous weekly high was 695,000 in October 1982). Broken down by state, the picture shows most states reporting a massive spike in unemployment last week.

U.S. to Take Equity Stakes in Airlines?

Mnuchin Indicates U.S. to Take Stakes in Airlines in Exchange for Grants, (WSJ, Mar. 26, 2020)

Previously and Elsewhere:
Boeing CEO: No Government Equity Stake for Taxpayer Aid (WSJ, Mar, 24, 2020)
Trump says he would consider government equity stakes in companies seeking bailouts (CNBC, Mar. 19, 2020)
UK government draws up plans to buy into airlines (FT, Mar. 19, 2020)

Department of Labor, Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Department of Labor, Fact Sheet for Employees: Guidance on Employee Paid Leave Rights (March 24, 2020)

Department of Labor, Fact Sheet for Employers: Guidance on Employer Expanded Family and Medical Leave Requirements (March 24, 2020)

Department of Labor, Guidance – Questions & Answers (March 24, 2020)

Senate Announces Deal on Bill in Early Hours of Wednesday March 25, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced early Wednesday March 25, 2020 from the floor of the Senate that a deal has been reached in the Senate on the COVID-19 relief package, with a vote expected later on Wednesday. The next step is House approval. See Senate Floor Video at 15:33 minutes in. Full details on final legislative terms to follow.

More State Stay-at-Home Orders

California Executive Order N-33-20 (Mar. 19, 2020)
Connecticut Executive Order 7H (Mar. 20, 2020)
Delaware Order (Mar. 22, 2020)
Florida Executive Order 20-68 (Mar. 17, 2020)
Illinois Executive Order No. 10 (Mar. 20, 2020)
Indiana Order (Mar, 23, 2020)
Louisiana Order (Mar, 22, 2020)
Maryland Order (Mar. 23, 2020)
Massachusetts Order (Mar. 23, 2020)

Massachusetts: Governor Orders All Non-Essential Businesses To Cease In Person Operation

Governor Charlie Baker Orders All Non-Essential Businesses To Cease In Person Operation, Directs the Department of Public Health to Issue Stay at Home Advisory For Two Weeks (Mar. 23, 2020)

Order (Mar. 23, 2020)
List of Essential Services (Mar. 23, 2020)
Assemblage Guidance (Mar. 23, 2020)


Consumer Protection Concerns During COVID-19 Crisis

Justice Department Files Its First Enforcement Action Against COVID-19 Fraud
FCC Consumer Fraud Warnings: COVID-19 Consumer Warnings and Safety Tips
FDIC: Insured Bank Deposits are Safe; Beware of Potential Scams Using the Agency’s Name
Office of the Inspector General: Inspector General Warns Public About New Social Security Benefit Suspension Scam
Massachusetts guidance: Protect yourself from scams and fraud