Congressional and Administration Responses to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Congressional and Administration Responses to the Coronavirus Outbreak


From Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck:

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, federal and state governments have taken rapid, decisive actions to support the people, businesses and industries affected. This memo serves as a recap of responses policymakers in Congress and the administration have taken within the past week to combat the virus. We begin by providing a top-level outline of the latest key updates and expand upon the details of each development later in the document. Below is an outline of the memo:

  • Pg 2: Key Updates
    • A brief list of the latest developments in both Congress and the administration over the past week.
  • Pg 3: Administration Responses
    A summary of each development within the administration over the past week, organized by agency.

    • President Trump and the White House
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of the Treasury
    • Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Education
    • Independent Agencies
  • Pg 8: Congressional Responses
    • A summary of each development within Congress over the past week, including information on the Phase Two package and ongoing Phase Three negotiations.
      • Pg 10: Legislative Tracker
        • A chart of legislation addressing the coronavirus pandemic from members of Congress in both the House and Senate, including brief descriptions of the bills and information on their current status.
      • Pg 20: Congressional Letters
        • Summary of letters written by members of Congress to senior Trump administration officials asking for the administration to take various actions.
      • Pg 23: State Declarations of Emergency
        • A timeline of when each state declaration of emergency decision was made, alongside the approaches governors are taking to combat the virus in their home states.

Key Updates

Administration Responses: as of Friday, March 20

  • President Trump officially triggers executive authority under the Defense Production Act.
  • Travel restrictions extended to limit non-essential travel over US-Mexico border.
  • FDA announces potential new treatments for COVID-19 approved for compassionate use.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues waiver of some HIPAA sanctions to improve data sharing.
  • Department of Education waives loan payments, cancels standardized testing.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extends tax deadline by 90 days for individuals and businesses that owe taxes.

Congressional Responses: as of Friday, March 20

  • Senate introduces third legislative package to tackle coronavirus pandemic.

Administration Responses: as of Wednesday, March 18

  • President signs the Families First Coronavirus Act(H.R.6201) into law.
  • President Trump announces new travel restrictions and partial closures of US-Canada borders.
  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issues telework guidance to federal agencies.
  • The White House issues new coronavirus guidelines.
  • National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announces a Phase I clinical trial of a vaccine.
  • White House Office of Technology and Policy unveils a new coronavirus database.
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announces new policies and guidance to extend and protect access to broadband and internet services, per the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers some regulatory relief to increase coronavirus testing in states.
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announces waiver of telehealth requirements to expand telemedicine benefits under Medicare and issues guidance for elective procedures.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) issues updated guidance for states to request disaster assistance loans.
  • Treasury Department pitches $300 billion economic stimulus plan.
  • President Trump issues executive order invoking authority under Defense Production Act of 1950.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) directed to suspend evictions and foreclosures.
  • Department of Defense (DoD) to make more hospital beds available, deploy hospital ships.
  • Alphabet companies introduce coronavirus websites.

Congressional Responses: as of Wednesday, March 18

  • House and Senate pass second coronavirus legislative package.
  • House Financial Services Committee proposes economic stimulus package.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have now declared states of emergency in response to the pandemic

To read the full memo, please click  here.


Emily Felder
Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel

Micaela Arneson
Policy Assistant

Annmarie Conboy-DePasquale
Policy Assistant


These documents are intended to provide you with general information regarding the impact of a potential or actual coronavirus pandemic. The contents of this document are not intended to provide specific legal advice. If you have any questions about the contents of this document or if you need legal advice as to an issue, please contact the attorneys listed or your regular Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP attorney. This communication may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions.


  • Dayvid Figler and Rae Lathrop

    DF: Downtown was great as a kid and it is even greater as an adult. I love all of downtown’s hidden gems, its vibrancy, history and sense of connection. Rae is relatively newer to Las Vegas, but just as passionate about downtown. Downtown lends itself to the shared experience, and as a couple we both love seeing this part of the city through each other's eyes. Photo: Lucky Wenzel


  • Rob Ponte

    Some of the best nights I’ve experienced started out with no plan other than walking around to check out what’s going on. The great thing about having so many bars and restaurants downtown is the ability to move around if you’re not feeling the vibe in one place. There are plenty of options just outside the door. Photo: Lucky Wenzel

  • Brandon Wiegand

    The downtown Las Vegas of today has much to attract residents - a burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scene, growing diversity of businesses, and major centers of art and culture. Plus, living downtown I am easily within walking or biking distance of it all. Photo: Lucky Wenzel

  • Hank Gordon, Chairman of Laurich Properties

    It is always a pleasure to deal with the city of Las Vegas’ economic development department. The staff is really interested in helping create a positive business environment to work with.

  • Jonathan Jenkins, Founder & CEO of OrderWithMe

    As our company continues its rapid growth, we quickly realized the need to set up a formal U.S. headquarters. We explored multiple cities and were about to make the move to San Francisco, and then we heard about the complete reinvention of downtown Las Vegas. Coming from China where things are booming and growing, we love that downtown Vegas now has a similar vibe of energy and change. Not only is there an exciting tech community here and much lower costs than the Bay Area, but we love the fact that almost every industry group brings their conventions to our front door once a year.

  • Andy Hsieh, Owner of Lux Delux

    We love the vibrancy and energy of Las Vegas, and downtown is at the heart of it all. That's why we've launched our mobile platform with a focus on downtown. This is an exciting time in Las Vegas history, where community, commerce and technology are all converging at once. Downtown is our city's hidden gem.

  • Ramesh Srinivasan, Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Partnerships of SocialWellth

    We chose to relocate from the suburbs to downtown for several reasons. Our brand image and that of downtown’s mesh perfectly. The new downtown Las Vegas reflects a more hip, startup, social media-style image. Additionally, downtown’s emerging technology corridor, anchored by Zappos, is an environment that enhances our ability to recruit the types of technical skill sets required for our continued growth and success.

  • Mark Brandenburg, President of Golden Gate

    I think downtown Las Vegas is a unique blend of intimacy and great energy. Plus, in contrast to The Strip, it’s so easy to walk around…The Golden Gate has been here for over 100 years and with all the changes going on downtown, it feels like a new era. It truly is a renaissance—the rebirth of a classic.

  • Roberto Mendoza, Co-owner of Banger Brewing

    The city has been great in helping us with the licensing and procedures necessary to start a business. There hasn't been a brewery built in the city of Las Vegas for probably 10 years. So for them it hasn't been a typical ‘cut and paste’ thing. We're something different. It was a team work process to get us opened – a lot of talk and listening on both sides. And now the city started opening up the doors for other breweries once we were up and running. Good news for us and good news for the future. (Photo: Lucky Wenzel)

  • Alexandra Epstein, Executive Vice President of El Cortez Casino Hotel

    This downtown area… is emerging and where many events are happening.

  • Meghan Mossler, Owner of Stitch Factory

    The city and the department of economic development have been very helpful to us and all the other downtown business owners. It’s such a community here, and everyone asks you what you need. That kind of help launching a business is amazing and priceless.

  • Pamela Dylag, Co-owner of Velveteen Rabbit

    The city is so supportive of new businesses. Things are popping up constantly. (Photo: Lucky Wenzel)

  • Marc Abelman, CFO & Co-owner of Inside Style

    Downtown is becoming very much in demand…there’s a limited supply. Run fast, don’t walk.

  • Sam Cherry, CEO of Cherry Development

    For a while, downtown was one of the only places in the valley you would see cranes when you drove around. It was nice that city government stepped up and the private sector married with the public sector to create amazing projects that filled the gap. That was very important for us.

  • Johnny Jimenez, Owner of Toy Shack of Las Vegas

    Our business is booming amid the foot traffic on Fremont Street, and we’ve started to see how tourists are falling in love with downtown as they discover it. In the past year, we’re increasingly hearing things like, ‘Wow, next time we’ll stay downtown instead of on The Strip,’ or ‘We’ve visited downtown many times, but this is the first year we’ve actually stayed in a downtown hotel.’ They like that there is more to do within a smaller walking radius.

  • Rich Worthington, President and CEO of The Molasky Group of Companies

    Historically, downtown Las Vegas has not been a top destination for many locals, but in recent years… that trend is reversing itself. Given all the recent openings and progress, there’s much to explore and experience downtown.