COVID-Relief Bill Negotiations Stall; Chances Fade for Agreement in August

August 13, 2020

Since August 7, Congressional Democratic and White House leaders have failed to hold substantive negotiations on additional COVID relief legislation. On August 10, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced that the House would not hold votes again until September 14. While this does not preclude a vote before then on COVID relief legislation—as members of the House and Senate remain on a 24-hour advanced-notice of such a vote—it’s a fairly significant sign that an agreement in August is unlikely. Also, keep in mind that the Democratic and Republican National Conventions occur the last two weeks of August. This leaves Congress 13 legislative days in September to not only determine what or if it will take action on COVID relief legislation, but also to stave off a shutdown of both the federal-aid highway and transit programs and federal government agencies—as the current highway and transit authorization law (the FAST Act) and fiscal year 2020 appropriations laws expire after September 30. AGC continues to advocate for—among other things—Congress to make broad, robust and dedicated investments in infrastructure and public facilities to protect construction jobs, provide certainty to construction markets and ensure the long-term benefits construction projects bring the economy and communities can still be realized in a timely manner.

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