Updated: Sep 16, 2020
The Independent Bakers Association approaches the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with a dual mission: preserving the supply of baked goods to American consumers and protecting the health and safety of IBA member-companies, their staff and families. We will attain these goals by keeping up-do-date resources available on this webpage and by engaging Congress, federal agencies and state governments to promote IBA members' needs.
*new* Though Congress made little progress in negotiating another COVID-19 relief bill this month, federal agencies are proceeding with their effort to continue to mitigate the spread of the pandemic by working with stakeholders, medical providers and state governments. See below for updated agency resources.
Party leaders in the House and Senate began negotiating the next legislative step to help rebuild America’s economy in July. After hearing input from pro-business groups, economists, state leaders and the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released a $1T proposal to provide further aid to healthcare workers, small businesses, schools and state agencies, among others.
IBA was pleased to see key provisions of the bill that will protect and bolster the baking industry. One of the most valuable proposals is targeted liability protection for food manufacturers and other essential frontline businesses that operated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill also includes tax incentives to help manufacturers retain employees, as well as invest in PPE and other safety measures.
The Senate’s HEALS Act is a stark contrast to the almost $3T HEROES Act passed by the House in May. While party leaders generally agree further direct stimulus payments would benefit the average American, Leader McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are certain to spar over the future of federal funding to supplement state unemployment benefits, which will expire this week. Despite states’ phased reopening, unemployment remains at unprecedented levels across the country. IBA and other pro-business advocates continue to ask Congress to ensure that any ongoing increase in unemployment benefits doesn’t disincentivize workers from returning to a job that is now open.
Congress’ annual extended recess is scheduled for the majority of August, though McConnell has a history of shortening the time-frame in order to push legislation over the finish line. With another recess approaching pre-Election Day, IBA expects congressional leaders will want to secure a compromise. We will continue to promote our issue priorities in both chambers as negotiations ramp up. For more details on specific proposals, contact Andrea Hart.
The Independent Bakers Association shared its top legislative priorities with staff of more then 50 House and Senate offices on May 11. The four recommendations in the outline stem from consensus among those on IBA's April telemeeting as well as direct input from several IBA member-companies.
As party leaders slowly develop their next COVID-19 response packages, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spar over logistical and policy priorities. Now that the urgency which bore the first response bills has dwindled, both parties are gathering momentum to push for their pre-COVID-19 agendas. The prognosis for a final compromise bill by the Memorial Day recess is grim.
IBA will discuss the legislative and regulatory outlook in detail at our virtual Annual Convention in June.
*new* Resources for IBA Members
updated September 16, 2020