In this report, we build on our initial alert to assess the financial policy provisions of the “HEROES Act” (H.R. 6800), sweeping legislation that passed the House Friday evening on a surprisingly tight 208-199 vote. While final legislative text is not yet available, provisions of the bill analyzed here lay out key Democratic demands for any further COVID legislation. Much in the bill is highly partisan and will face significant obstacles when the Senate finally decides to negotiate, but the measure’s numerous changes to the PPP express widespread bipartisan sentiment about the need quickly to revise this small-business program. These may thus advance on their own or form the basis for a conference with a far narrower Senate bill. Other provisions in the HEROES legislation include new Treasury support for mortgage servicers, who would also be required to provide forbearance to all mortgages and prohibited from demanding balloon payments when forbearance ends. The bill also includes consumer and small-business debt moratoria for 120 days accompanied by an FRB facility to support affected debt collectors.
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