Congress passes COVID-19 legislation

Published on March 18, 2020
World map highlights countries with positive COVID-19 results.

President is expected to sign bill into law

Today, the Senate approved the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) after much debate. The legislation, a package of measures intended to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 emergency, heads now to the president to be signed into law. 

AVMA has prepared a summary of the key provisions affecting veterinarians and veterinary practices.  
  
Highlights include: 

  • Family and medical leave for employees caring for a child, with daily and aggregate limitations
  • Emergency paid sick leave 
  • Department of Labor authority to exempt small businesses when the leave requirements would impact the viability of the business 
  • Tax credits to help offset paid leave provisions and qualified health plan expenses

Additional measures in the works

Also Wednesday, the White House announced several initiatives aimed to provide assistance. Although official guidance is not yet available from the Department of Education, these included a suspension of federal student loan interest accrual. The White House also has indicated that additional relief for student loan payments may be forthcoming. 

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who has been the lead for the White House in the negotiations regarding COVID-19 measures, also indicated the administration will defer tax payments for individuals and small businesses for 90 days. 

Without official guidance, it is not yet clear how these initiatives will be implemented. The AVMA will continue to work actively with lawmakers and keep the veterinary community updated on any developments here and on the AVMA’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage

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