By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Relations, Goodwill Industries International
Monitoring negotiations between Congress and the Administration as to whether there will be another COVID-19 relief package before the election has conjured images of Charlie Brown and Lucy playing with the political football. Over the last three months, there have been a number of conversations, sometimes daily, between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. While the President, his Chief of Staff Mark Meadow, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have participated or weighed in at different times, Pelosi and Mnuchin have been the key negotiators. They helped get the Families First Act and the CARES Act over the finish line several months ago, but continue to fall short on the latest deal.
The House-passed HEROES Act and the Senate HEALS Act were both partisan measures that were not going to be taken up in the opposite chamber, which highlights the differences between the two parties. Beyond concerns over the price tags on the measures, there has been disagreement on the substantive policy issues. At the time of this writing, the two sides are reportedly close on health spending and a national testing plan; however, they have not come to terms on issues related to the Census and election security language, while state and local funding and business liability are outstanding. Even if a deal is agreed upon, language needs to be drafted and measures need to be reviewed by the Congressional Budget Office, and each chamber has procedural timelines and rules in place before a vote can commence. Not to mention, the Senate is occupied by the Supreme Court confirmation vote and lawmakers are anxious about leaving the campaign trail so close to Election Day.
Regardless of timing, the need for #Relief4Charities remains the same. Goodwill Industries® stands with other leaders in the charitable sector to keep our issues top-of-mind for lawmakers at a time when we are faced with increased demand for our services and increasing operating costs as we work to fulfill our missions with limited resources.