President Invokes Defense Protection Act
President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act in order to boost production and help States get the medical equipment they need.
- He will be using this Act to use the power of the federal government to get ventilators, masks, and other medical supplies distributed to the States that need them most.
President Trump – Does not think it will be necessary to have a nationwide lockdown. See here.
Other Administration Actions
- The Dept. of Education will not enforce standardize testing for the remaining schooling year. Additionally, borrowers can suspend payments for 60 days without penalty or interest on federally held student loans. More information here from Secretary DeVos.
- Income tax filing deadline has been moved from April 15th to July 15th
- The Treasury Department approved the expansion of the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility to include municipal securities. This will create additional liquidity to support the states and municipalities.
- Travel Restrictions – Secretary of State Pompeo
- State Department is still focused on all national security concerns not relating to coronavirus response but the Secretary Pompeo said they are moving to a Level 4 Global Travel Advisory – all international travel for US Citizens should be avoided and anyone who is travelling abroad should return home immediately.
- They are working together with Canada and Mexico to slow and stop the spread through North America – it is a joint comprehensive effort to protect the health of all three nations.
- US and Mexico will close the shared border to non-essential travel in order to curb spread, will not affect trade. Same closure as Canadian border.
- Both border restrictions will go into effect tonight at midnight (March 21) and will be reviewed after 30 days.
- This will not apply to lawful trade or commerce.
- CDC will suspend certain persons into the United States who are seeking to enter the country illegally, does not apply to US Citizens or travelers with proper documentation. Further summary of the use of Title 42 of the US Code here.
Regarding legislation for Phase 3:
- Leader McConnell spoke on the Senate floor this afternoon about Phase 3 of the Coronavirus response. He said, "talks continue right now as we speak. Member level discussions will proceed with the goal of reaching agreement, by the end of today." McConnell says the first procedural vote on the Coronavirus Phase 3 response would come tomorrow. That means the Senate would vote on the plan Monday. Then onto the House. However, there are concerns among Democrats about the speed of the process and what is already in the bill, discussions remain ongoing but the President remains hopeful and said that he had constructive calls with both Leader McConnell and Senator Schumer.
New York Governor Cuomo orders all employers to keep workers at home, except essential services; bans gatherings of any size but does not consider this to be a shelter in place order.
California orders nonessential workers to stay at home, utilizing the federal CISA list of essential industries.
Pennsylvania orders all workers stay at home except essential employees.
Indiana has delayed it’s May 5 Primary to June 2 over concerns of Coronavirus.
Illinois issued an executive order keeping all workers at home except for essential industries.
Indiana has delayed it’s May 5th Primary to June 2nd over concerns of Coronavirus.
Special note: States have begun to take action to order "non-essential" employees to stay home. There was initial confusion as to what industries were essential and each state began defining it differently, as is their responsibility. The Department of Homeland Security through CISA has issued guidelines as to what is essential critical industries here. At least California linked its order to the CISA guidelines. As you can imagine there is great confusion as each state turns to shelter at home as to what industries can stay open, so work is being done by Michael Best Strategies staff to ensure language covering essential industries are part of the proclamation. In addition, at the federal level each day, new directives are coming out and there is a discussion going on regarding whether to declare a federal shelter at home for "nonessential" workers shutting down business. This a very fluid situation that we are watching and advising clients. Please contact our Michael Best Strategies team if we can be of assistance.