Congressional leaders and the White House are continuing their discussions on the next stimulus bill, including an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Both the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act released by the Senate Republicans earlier this week and the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act passed by the House in May include an extension of the PPP. The latter included an Alliance ask to include a waiver of the PPP for news organizations who are currently ineligible because their owner also has other small newspapers or non-news businesses. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is negotiating with the Republicans, is supportive, having co-sponsored the Local News and Emergency Information Act of 2020 which would create such a waiver. The Alliance is also working to support Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and who has been a leader on this effort. The NewsGuild-CWA Union reportedly also approached Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Schumer on the issue, and other labor unions are expected to follow. A main driver, the unemployment benefits that are ending on July 31, remain unresolved and the Senate just adjourned until Monday without reaching a deal. We’ll continue to advocate for our asks for news publishers and will keep you updated on developments.
Members of the News Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.