Congress Passes Year-End COVID Relief Legislation
As an essential industry, print and packaging has continued to function throughout a difficult 2020. And while a COVID-19 vaccination inspires hope for a safer, more productive 2021, PRINTING United Alliance has staunchly advocated Congress to pass a major year-end COVID relief package before adjourning for the year. Last night, Congress did just that and President Trump has stated he will sign the bill into law.
PRINTING United Alliance member companies sent a unified industry message to Congress urging that several key provisions be included in this legislation. The final outcome of this bipartisan, bicameral legislation included many of these priorities, such as:
- Additional funding for and improved functionality of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including making PPP loans already received fully tax deductible. Details on PPP second draw, eligibility changes, expanded allowable use of PPP funds, and more can be found in summary form here (PDF).
- Pandemic-related funding to USPS for short-term relief that requires a sound long-term operational plan to keep USPS delivering print and packages. Congress addressed this by converting the $10 billion loan provided to USPS in the April CARES Act to direct assistance not requiring pay back, with specifications that it be used for operational costs or expenses directly related to the pandemic.
- Legislative solutions to hiring and retaining workers during the pandemic. A summary of tax- and employment-related provisions in the new legislation can be found here (PDF).
A full summary of the COVID relief provisions can be found here (PDF). Please be sure to visit the association’s COVID-19 Resources Channel for additional information and future guidance related to this newly passed legislation as new posts are uploaded weekly.
One priority advocated by PRINTING United Alliance that was not included in the new legislation was a temporary, targeted liability shield to prevent printing companies from facing frivolous lawsuits related to the pandemic. It is widely expected that Congress will revisit this contentious policy issue in 2021.
While PRINTING United Alliance welcomes the news of overdue COVID relief legislation, we will continue advocating for pandemic-related policies that benefit our industry, its employees and its customers going forward in the new year.
Printing and packaging companies across the country spoke in a unified industry voice to urge passage of this year-end pandemic in hopes of creating a path to a safer country and a stronger economy. Thank you for taking action and helping to make a difference for our industry.
Lisbeth Lyons is the Vice President, Government and External Affairs, PRINTING United Alliance, having joined Printing Industries in March 2005 as Director of Legislative Affairs. In this position, she is responsible for providing direct advocacy before Congress and the Administration on key industry legislative initiatives, as well as for the strategic direction of the organization's grassroots and external outreach activities. She serves as Treasurer of PrintPAC, the only industry political action committee dedicated solely to electing pro-print lawmakers.
Previously, Lisbeth was Director, Government Affairs at the United States Telecom Association (USTA), representing telecommunications companies ranging from the nation's largest Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) to small, rural telephone companies. Lisbeth also served as Director of Grassroots & Legislative Services at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation's largest small business advocacy organization.
Lisbeth is a candidate for an M.A. in Political Management at The George Washington University and holds a B.A. from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Prior to working in Washington, D.C., Lisbeth was a teacher with Chicago Public Schools.