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 Vice President, Government & Political Affairs, PRINTING United Alliance, the largest, most comprehensive graphic arts trade association in the country. With more than 20 years of experience representing the voice of business on Capitol Hill, Lisbeth advocates for public policies that protect and advance the economic future of the printing and packaging industry. She oversees PRINTING United Alliance’s legislative, political, and grassroots advocacy initiatives, and has served in executive leadership of multiple successful advocacy campaigns, such as Coalition for Paper Options, Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, and Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers Coalition.
Prior to representing PRINTING United Alliance, Lisbeth served in similar roles at Printing Industries of America, US Telecom, and the National Federation of Independent Business. She also spent three years as a K-12 teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system, where she was on the forefront of urban education reform in the mid-1990s.
Lisbeth is Midwestern born and bred, having grown up in the St. Louis metropolitan area and attended college at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, before starting her career in Washington, DC. She holds a B.A. in English/Sociology and a professional graduate certificate from The George Washington University School of Political Management. She lives in the historic Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.
An avid leader and learner in professional development, Lisbeth was a founding member of the Government Relations Leadership Forum, and is an active participant in organizations such as Council of Manufacturing Associations, Women in Government Relations, and National Association of Business PACs, among others. Lisbeth is often a featured speaker at premier industry conferences; she has spoken to Boards of Directors, corporate executive management teams, and state and regional trade associations across the country from coast to coast.