Negotiations on a new COVID-19 relief package are at a stalemate with no possibility of restarting the talks any time soon. As reported previously, a group of Senate Republicans introduced the $1 trillion HEALS Act package of pandemic measures. However, this limited measure did not have the support of at least 20 Republican Senators, according to Senate Majority Leader McConnell. Democrats have largely remained united behind the $3+ trillion HEROES Act. The divide between the two sides centers on a few big-ticket items including the size of the package, unemployment benefit levels, state and local government aid and rental assistance.
With Congress at odds regarding how best to move forward on additional COVID-19 relief legislation, President Trump issued four Presidential actions outlining ways in which federal agencies could provide relief to those impacted by COVID-19. President Trump held a press conference on August 8 where he signed four Executive Orders focused on housing, payroll tax cuts, student loan relief and unemployment benefits.
There has been speculation that the Executive Orders could face multiple legal challenges. But at this time, no court challenges have been filed. NMHC and NAA will continue to follow actions related to these Executive Orders, any legal challenges and will push Congress and the Administration to return to the bargaining table to reach a consensus on a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package that addresses the needs of both residents and housing providers.