From what little information we can garner, please allow me to share where this seems to be sitting at the moment.
There has been a lot of negotiations in the last 4 days. There has been some measure of movement.
This morning Speaker Pelosi and Speaker McConnell said the following:
“Exactly when that deal comes together I can’t tell you, but I think it will at some point in the near future,” McConnell said.
“Will we find a solution? We will,” Pelosi said in a separate interview shortly after McConnell. “Will we have an agreement? We will.”
There is a meeting going on now with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, House Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer.
Word on the street is that the $600 Enhanced Unemployment Insurance most likely will be agreed to.
The President has stated publicly that if Congress does not come to an agreement that he will sign an Executive Order that will extend the Enhanced Unemployment and the Eviction moratorium.
There is still no clarity as to whether the language in the HEALS Act will be used for PPP extension or whether the RESTART Act language will be used.
There is more political pressure to use RESTART than any other language. It is currently supported by 48 Senators and 78 House Members.
One thing that does seem likely is that elements of HEROES, HEALS and perhaps RESTART will be the basis of what is delivered.
It is important to realize that the small business issue is not at the top of the list, as that spot belongs to money for states.
There is most likely not a focus on small business needs at the moment.
There seems to still be a desire on both sides of the aisle to deliver a relief bill by Friday, though that timeline is not certain.
The Senate has broken for today and it is unclear if they will be back tomorrow, next week, or at all.
Technically, after tomorrow, the Senate is on break until September 8. They can however be called back.
There are a lot of undetermined facts at the moment.
We hope to have more clarity in the morning.
Here are also two other letters from various important organizations in support of RESTART.
There are many more letters like these from various organizations.
Very impressive is the NIVA letter signed by such a wide array of impactful artists that it is best displayed via a web link.
An additional organization that represents Freelance workers organized and I have attached their website below. Their focus is on the Enhanced Unemployment as that is so important unemployed people in our industry. I hope you can take a quick look at the site as it is very informative and well done.
Also of note is that because of our Live Event Industry initiative, Indiana Senator Tim Young and members of his staff are planning to visit Tyler Truss next week.
They will be going to see firsthand how the effects of the COVID-19 situation have impacted an Indiana industry.
This follows Senator Gillibrand in New York visiting PRG to understand their operation and how it has been impacted.
The overall weight and impact of the touches from the Live Event Industry to our legislators has been the leading force in promoting the RESTART Act.
There is large bipartisan support for RESTART and the prevalent sentiment is that the RESTART language should be used.
It seems that as of tonight there is still no agreement.
It is also unclear if the Senate will be back tomorrow.
Updates will be issued when more is known.
There is no point for a Call to Action at the moment as there is no clarity on what path is being taken.
You are urged to continue personal reach out efforts to your House and Senate representatives.
Let them know it is vital they pass RESTART as part of the larger bill in the next few days.
Thank each of you for your amazing efforts and stay tuned.
Michael T. Strickland
Chair and Founder