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- The House Select Subcommittee on the
Coronavirus Crisis held a remote hearing with civil rights advocates and public
health experts to examine the steps that must be taken to ensure a
free, fair, and safe general election during the coronavirus
- The House Oversight and Reform
Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy is expanding its investigation into some
pandemic-related government contracts to focus on all contracts
negotiated by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. Subcommittee
Chair Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) announced the widening of the
probe on Tuesday, one day after the Trump Administration scrapped a
$646 million deal to obtain 43,000 ventilators from Philips
Respironics, a unit of Royal Philips.
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have tentatively agreed to use a short-term spending bill to
avoid a government shutdown at the end of September. The stopgap
funding legislation would not include coronavirus relief or
stimulus, but it removes the possible nightmare scenario of federal
agencies being shut down and vital services halted in the middle of
- Senate Republicans proposed a new, smaller package of coronavirus
aid that includes jobless aid, liability protections for
businesses, and school funding among other measures. It is expected
to cost around $300 billion, after the $650 billion in new spending
is offset with $350 billion in savings from unspent funds from
earlier coronavirus packages. The proposal adds new tax credits for
private-school scholarships and homeschooling expenses, a longtime
priority of conservative groups that many Democrats oppose. The
plan would also take away the Federal Reserve's ability to make
new emergency loans with coronavirus relief funds after January, a
sharp shift from when Congress handed the central bank a key role
in driving the economic rescue. Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell (R-KY) plans to bring the legislation to the floor for a
vote on Thursday.
- Ranking Member of the Senate Banking,
Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Robert
Menendez (DNJ), and Jack Reed (D-RI) sent a letter to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger
regarding the agency's failure to use its authority to ensure
that borrowers are aware of the mortgage relief options they are
legally entitled to during the COVID-19 pandemic.
|B. Executive Agencies
- A New Jersey attorney was charged with bank fraud and money laundering
after he allegedly submitted three fraudulent PPP loan applications
on behalf of three different businesses. He received nearly $9
million in loan funds, which he spent on a home, remodeling, and
- Public Citizen Inc. has sued the Department of Labor over a
languishing Freedom of Information Act request related to the
agency's response to coronavirus infections at meat-processing
facilities. Public Citizen contends that release of the records
would allow the public to understand what steps the Department has
taken to protect workers at meatpacking plants.
- 72 workers have sued their employers over alleged violations
of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, an initiative
overseen by the Labor Department aimed at creating leave options
for workers as COVID-19 spread. Business groups and management
attorneys warned in the spring that the legislation was hastily
crafted and left companies vulnerable to a groundswell of
litigation, including class or collective actions. Such an
onslaught has yet to come to fruition, but attorneys predict more
lawsuits before the law expires on Dec. 31, as schools return,
businesses reopen, and the cold and flu season begins amid the
threat of a COVID-19 resurgence.
|C. State Attorneys General
- Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro
announced a price gouging settlement with New York-based wholesaler
Complete Medical Supplies, which he said had sold nearly 100 N95
masks to Pennsylvania retailers at unlawful prices. General Shapiro
had previously reached price gouging settlements with several of
those retailers. The settlement requires the company to pay civil
penalties and restitution.
|D. Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR)
- On September 8, the U.S.
Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas entered into a Memorandum of Understanding
with the SIGPR to cooperate in investigating and prosecuting
financial misconduct and fraud related to the CARES Act. Two NDTX
Assistant U.S. Attorneys will serve as liaisons to SIGPR.
- Several job positions for SIGPR have
been posted over the past week, including for a Management &
Program Analyst to plan, organize, and prioritize projects for the
SIGPR strategic planning process, and an Auditor Senior Quality
Control Review and Assurance position.
|E. Pandemic Recovery Accountability Committee (PRAC)
No updates this week.
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