COVID-19 Updates

Our financial regulators and the Trump Administration are closely monitoring and responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Committee Republicans are working with these officials to ensure the safety and soundness of our economy and financial institutions during this public health crisis. Check back regularly for updates and resources on efforts to mitigate the economic impact of coronavirus.

For an in-depth look at the Administration's economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic, click HERE.

What’s been done so far:

  • Simplifying PPP Loan Forgiveness: On October 8, 2020, the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department, issued a streamlined application for PPP loan forgiveness for borrowers whose loans were for $50,000 or less.
  • Protecting Millions of Homeowners from Foreclosure: On August 27, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that they would extend a ban on evictions and foreclosures for homes backed by the Federal Housing Administration through the end of 2020. This action will ensure that the millions Americans with FHA backed single family mortgages do not lose their homes as a result of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis.
  • Continuing to protect homeowners: On August 27th, 2020 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will extend the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until at least December 31, 2020. This bold move will protect more than 28 million homeowners with an Enterprise-backed mortgage, who are at risk of losing their home due to the coronavirus national emergency.
  • Continuing to Ensure the Flow of Credit Across the Economy: On July 28, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced they would extend the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, and the Main Street Lending Program through December 31st, 2020. These important facilities ensure businesses, households, and state and local governments have the liquidity they need to participate in our nation’s recovery.
  • Ensuring Access to Credit for Small to Mid-Sized Businesses: On July 6, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced that the Main Street Lending Program was fully operational. The Main Street Lending Program offers five-year loans to help credit flow to small- and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Extending Access to Essential Paycheck Protections: On July 4th, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law S.4116, which passed both chambers of Congress unanimously. This legislation extends the deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loan until August 8, 2020. 
  • Ensuring Consumer Access to Credit of All Types: On May 20, 2020, The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued principles for offering small-dollar loans in a responsible manner to meet financial institutions customers' short-term credit needs. This important action will help streamline guidance for our financial institutions, and will provide greater flexibility to increase competition and choice in the small-dollar market.
  • Providing Clarity to Borrowers and Homeowners. On May 19, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced new guidance for borrowers who had availed themselves of forbearance options and who wish to refinance their mortgage or purchase a new home.
  • Increasing the Flow of Credit to Businesses and Households. On May 15, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), in conjunction with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) jointly announced temporary changes to their supplementary leverage ratio rule in order to provide flexibility to certain depository institutions to provide credit to households and businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Protecting homeowners: On March 18, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Trump Administration took a bold step to prevent homeowners with loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac from being foreclosed upon or evicted during this national emergency. Further, on May 14, 2020, FHFA and the administration extended the moratorium to June 30, 2020.
  • Resources for Homeowners and Renters: On May 12, 2020, the Consumer Financial protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a new website outlining options for homeowners and renters facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus crisis.
  • Increasing Access to Crowdfunding for America’s Small Businesses. On May 4, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it would be providing temporary, conditional relief for established smaller companies affected by COVID-19 that may look to meet their urgent funding needs through a Regulation Crowdfunding offering.
  • Ensuring the Flow of Credit through the Paycheck Protection Program. On April 16, 2020, the Federal Reserve officially stood up the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, which is designed to ensure lenders can continue to support small businesses and provide much-needed credit to keep Americans employed and businesses open.
  • Protecting Borrowers and Homeowners: On April 15, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the creation of the Borrower Protection Program, which will consist of an information sharing partnership between the two agencies to better protect consumers during the Coronavirus national emergency.
  • Providing Liquidity to Lenders and Businesses of All Sizes: On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced a number of program changes to support the ability of businesses to retain their employees, help state and local governments continue to serve their constituents, and ensure financial institutions of all sizes can continue lending under the Paycheck Protection Program. These actions include the creation of three new lending facilities:
    • A Municipal Liquidity Facility to help state and local governments manage cash flow stresses caused by the coronavirus.
    • A Main Street Lending Program to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses.
    • A Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility to extend credit to eligible financial institutions that originate PPP loans, taking the loans as collateral.
  • Rightsizing Regulation to Support Developing Companies. On April 8, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued targeted regulatory relief for Business Development Companies (BDCs) in an effort to support job creators across our country.
  • Providing Clarity to Lenders Seeking to Ease Burden on Borrowers: On April 7, 2020, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a revised interagency statement further clarifying ways in which lenders can make accommodations for borrowers experiencing financial difficulty as a result of Coronavirus.
  • Making Small Business Lending More Accessible: On April 6, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced they would create a facility to continue to make lending more accessible to small business as part of the Paycheck Protection Program created by the CARES Act.
  • Easing the Strain on Community Banks: On April 6, 2020, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve jointly announced the implementation of a CARES Act provision, which provides community banks with relief and a reasonable grace period for complying with the Community Bank Leverage Ratio (CBLR).
  • Regulators Encourage Lenders to Aid Small Businesses: On April 2, 2020, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) advised financial institutions they supervise various forms of borrower relief available in the CARES Act, and encouraged those institutions to work with their small business borrowers to take full advantage of those assistance programs, including programs offered by the U.S. Treasury, and the Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Providing Support to Homeowners Struggling to Make Payments: On April 1, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development directed loan servicers to give borrowers of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured loans the option to defer payments for up to a year if they are having difficulty making their payments as a result of COVID-19.
  • Smoothing the Functioning of Global MarketsOn March 31, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced a new Foreign and International Monetary Authorities (FIMA) Repo Facility to further ease the strain on global markets, including the U.S. Treasury market, and ensure continued access to credit for businesses and consumers. This new facility will begin operation on April 6, 2020.
  • Providing Flexibility to Homebuyers and Sellers: On March 31, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced an array of new loan processing flexibilities to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give lenders additional flexibility on loan processing and underwriting requirements to limit the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on loan closings.
  • Direct relief to businesses and families: On March 27, 2020, the House passed the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to provide direct support to families and workers that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Supporting the flow of credit to employers, consumers, and businesses:On March 23, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced that it would  create a variety of new programs which would, together, provide up to $300 billion in new financing. These programs include:
    • Establishing three new facilities:
      • Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF) for new bond and loan issuance.
      • Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF) for outstanding corporate bonds.
      • Term-Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), which will enable issuance of ABS backed by student loans, auto loans, credit card loans, and loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.
    • Expanding two existing facilities:
      • MMLF to include a wider range of securities, including VRDNs and bank CDs.
      • CPFF to include high-quality, tax-exempt CP as eligible securities.
  • Protecting Renters in Multifamily Properties: On March 23, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it will require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (The Enterprises) to offer mortgage forbearance to multifamily property owners with the condition that they suspend evictions for residents unable to pay rent due to the impact of the coronavirus. This option is open to all multifamily properties with an Enterprise-backed mortgage, and will help renters stay in their homes during these trying times.
  • Lending to businesses and consumers: On March 19, 2020, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chair, Jelena McWilliams, took an important step to ensure financial institutions are able to lend to businesses and consumers impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) by pushing for a delay in implementing the ill-advised Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) standard.
  • Defense Production Act: On March 18, 2020, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) in the ongoing fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ensure the American people have access to testing, medical supplies, and lifesaving medicines.
  • Money Market Fund Assistance: On March 18, 2020, the Federal Reserve established the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMFL) to assist money market funds in meeting demands for redemptions by households and other investors. This facility will enhance overall market function and provide more credit to the broader economy.
  • Expanding access to credit: On March 17, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced it will establish a Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF). The PDCF allows “primary dealers” to have access to more liquidity for their short-term financing needs. This allows these primary dealers to provide more credit to job creators and households in need during COVID-19.
  • Cash flow to businesses and consumers: On March 17, 2020, the Fed announced that it will establish a commercial paper facility to support companies and banks providing financing for a wide range of economic activity. For companies, that means helping in their day-to-day operation like making payroll. For households, it means providing funding to financial firms that provide auto loans and mortgages to American families.
  • More flexibility: On March 17, 2020, federal bank regulatory agencies announced an interim final rule that facilitates the use of firms' capital buffers to promote lending activity to households and businesses.
  • Discount window: On March 16, 2020, federal bank regulatory agencies released a statement encouraging banks to use the Federal Reserve's "discount window" so that they can continue supporting households and businesses.
  • Stimulating the economy: On March 15, 2020, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates, bringing the federal funds rate to between 0% and 0.25% to stimulate the economy. 
  • Increased relief: On March 12, 2020, the New York Fed announced it will inject $1.5 trillion into funding markets to ensure stability in repo market operations and in our financial institutions. 
  • Pandemic guidance: On March 10, 2020, financial regulators released an update to its pandemic planning for financial institutions to prevent disruption of core operations by the coronavirus.
  • Consumer assistance: On March 9, 2020, federal and state bank regulators encouraged financial institutions to work with borrowers and customers affected by the coronavirus.
  • Capital markets: The SEC is monitoring the capital markets and on March 4, 2020, provided conditional relief for certain filing requirements for companies affected by the coronavirus including guidance that allows certain in-person board meetings to be done remotely.
  • Contingency planning: Regulators are communicating and coordinating with their employees to ensure they are taking appropriate precautions.  The SEC became the first federal agency to ask personnel to work from home due to an employee who may have coronavirus. 
  • Industry outreach: The White House and Treasury Department are communicating and meeting with Wall Street executives to monitor the broader impact of the coronavirus on our financial system and the U.S. economy.

Mitigating Coronavirus Impact on Borrowers’ Financial Health:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have taken steps to remind borrowers of hardship forbearance options.

Key facts:

  • FHFA has announced that COVID-19 will trigger protocols similar to a natural disaster. 
  • Borrowers should contact their lenders directly before missing a payment to report a hardship related to COVID-19.
  • Hardship forbearance resources can be used to mitigate the impact of a missed paycheck, lost job, or other financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.

Protecting Consumers from Coronavirus Financial Impact:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has provided useful resources to help consumers protect their families from the financial impact of COVID-19.

Resources for consumers:

You have trouble paying your bills or loans: The CFPB and other financial regulators have encouraged financial institutions to work with their customers to meet their needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Borrowers should reach out to servicers and lenders if they anticipate having trouble making their next payment.
You lose your income: State and local governments provide helpful resources for employees impacted by the coronavirus. Additionally, seniors, who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, may be eligible for government benefits available to older adults who need financial help.
You are targeted by a scammer: Scammers are always on the hunt for opportunities to take advantage of consumers. During uncertain times like these, we are especially vulnerable. Learn more about how to spot a scam and report fraud to the appropriate agency.

Prioritizing COVID-19 Response at the Financial Services Committee

Republican Legislative Action

The Securing Additional Value for Every Retirement Saver (SAVERS) Act
Introduced on April 21, 2020 by the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), this legislation will help Americans whose retirement savings have been harmed by the economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) by temporarily raising contribution limits on tax-preferred retirement savings plans and individual retirement accounts. This will allow all savers the opportunity to prepare for a financially secure retirement and encourage investment in companies that need capital.

On March 19, 2020, Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee introduced legislation to protect public housing residents and individuals experiencing homelessness from coronavirus (COVID-19). These five proposals, in addition to eight bills introduced by Committee leaders last week, are a part of Committee Republicans’ comprehensive approach to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic with innovative and targeted solutions.

The Interagency Council on Homelessness Coronavirus Guidance Act 
Introduced by Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-1), this bill requires the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) to issue guidance to the public and stakeholders on best practices to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks for all classifications of homeless populations.

The Improving Emergency Disease Response via Housing Act
Introduced by Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-3), this bill requires the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to coordinate with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to identify potential COVID-19 hotspots, specifically at-risk Section 202 elderly housing properties and areas with high concentrations of homelessness. This will allow agencies to increase health outreach and testing in these areas.

The Protecting Our Elderly Residents Act
Introduced by the Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance, Steve Stivers (OH-15), this bill requires HUD and Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to establish rules regarding non-emergency and non-resident access to Section 202 elderly housing properties and public housing to limit the spread of COVID-19 to residents.

The PHA Public Health Flexible Funding Act
Introduced by the Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance, Steve Stivers (OH-15), this bill provides PHAs with funding flexibility to comingle their Capital and Operating funds to support their COVID-19 response.

The Informed Resident Notification Act
Introduced by Congressman Ted Budd (NC-13), this bill requires PHAs to promptly inform all residents in a public housing dwelling when an outbreak of COVID-19 has been detected in that building, so that extra precautions can be taken to limit the spread of the virus.

On March 12, 2020, Republican leaders of the Committee introduced eight bills in the ongoing effort to combat the economic and public health impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) through innovation and technology solutions. In response to President Trump’s call for a whole-of-government approach, Republicans are proposing these first steps to help businesses of all sizes, employees, and American consumers in the midst of this public health crisis:

The Crowdfunding to Combat the Coronavirus Act
Introduced by Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10), this bill creates a $1 billion prize for creating a COVID-19 vaccine that must be affordable and widely available. Additionally, it eliminates offering ceilings in Regulation Crowdfunding, Reg. A, and Reg. A+ for startups and small businesses working to combat COVID-19, providing support for job creators while encouraging medical innovation that could save lives.

The Relief for Small Businesses Through Micro-Offerings Act
Introduced by Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10), this bill would create a new micro-offerings exemption to allow broader access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses. This provides necessary support to concerned job creators whose workforce or product may be negatively impacted by COVID-19 and any shortage in traditional bank lending. Micro-lending has a demonstrated track record for providing much-needed capital to entrepreneurs—often women and minorities—in underbanked communities, helping them start and grow their businesses.

The Touchless Transactions Act
Introduced by the Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, French Hill (AR-2), this bill would establish that any swipe, dip, or tap transaction at a merchant point of sale terminal would not trigger a signature requirement. Thanks to innovation in credit and debit transaction verification, signatures for such transactions are no longer necessary and eliminating the practice can cut down on the spread of the virus.

The Gig Economy Infrastructure Act
Introduced by Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10), this bill expands the category of workers that can be compensated with equity compensation to gig workers. Gig workers can be food delivery couriers, contract workers, or rideshare drivers, just to name a few, and are critical in our technology driven world. This bill provides support to these workers and ensures they can continue to serve our communities in this environment.

The SEC Relief to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus Act
Introduced by Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, Bill Huizenga (MI-2), this bill would remove requirements for in-person meetings and hand-delivery of certain SEC-required documents. This will allow for minimization of face-to-face contact based on regulatory requirements of the federal securities laws.

The Insured Depository Institution Business Continuity Planning Act
Introduced by Vice Ranking Republican, Ann Wagner (MO-2), this bill would provide federal banking regulators with the authority to promulgate safety and soundness standards for business continuity planning and management.

The Coronavirus Guidance for Financial Institutions Act
Introduced by the Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance, Steve Stivers (OH-15), this bill supports the Trump Administration’s efforts to encourage financial institutions to work with consumers and businesses impacted by COVID-19. This would also require regulators to issue a report to inform Congress and the American people on the effectiveness of the directive.

The Coronavirus Accounting Relief Act
Introduced by the Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3), this bill would delay the implementation of an ill-advised accounting standard, the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL), that forces institutions to increase credit losses and decrease lending at the most inopportune time. Delaying the implementation of CECL will free up billions of dollars for financial institutions to lend to small business and consumers in need.

Republican Letters to Key Officials

On May 14, 2020, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), joined the Ranking Members of all standing and select committees in a letter to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-M.D.) opposing the Democrats’ partisan assault on the rights of the House Minority in H.Res 965 leaving the American people without the support or representation they need in this unprecedented time.

On April 23, 2020 Republican leader of the House Committees on Financial Services Patrick McHenry, (NC-10), joined the Republican leaders of the Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means Committees in sending a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi in opposition to Democrats’ plan to create a partisan and duplicative select subcommittee to review the Administration’s ongoing COVID-19 response.

On April 17, 2020 Republican leader of the House Financial Services Patrick McHenry (NC-10), sent a letter to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, urging her to act now to protect small businesses and their employees by funding the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). Funding for this bipartisan program ran out on April 16, 2020 after Democrats repeatedly blocked Republicans’ attempts to replenish the funds that have already helped small businesses keep workers on payroll, hire back furloughed workers, and keep their businesses up and running.

On April 6, 2020  Republican leaders of the House Financial Services Committee, led by Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (NC-10), sent a letter to Chairwoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) urging her to abandon partisan policies and make coronavirus (COVID-19) response and recovery efforts the main priority for the Committee.

On March 30, 2020 he top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), sent a letter urging Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman (SEC), Jay Clayton, to ensure emergency relief and economic recovery benefits all American workers, including “gig” workers.

On March 16, 2020, Republican Committee leaders, led by Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10), sent a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director, Kathleen Kraninger, asking for her assistance in protecting seniors from coronavirus-fueled scams.

On March 16, 2020, Republican leader Patrick McHenry (NC-10), and Republican leader of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance, Steve Stivers (OH-15), sent letters to the nation’s largest Public Housing Authority (PHA) leaders urging them to implement policies to protect vulnerable residents from the coronavirus.

On March 10, 2020, Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (NC-10), along with Financial Services Committee Republican leaders, wrote a letter to Secretary Steven Mnuchin in his role as the chair of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), to request FSOC convene a meeting to ensure they are prepared to address the potential threat of coronavirus to our financial system.

In addition, the Committee leaders urged the Council to provide recommendations to member agencies to ensure business continuity and to mitigate this growing health crisis.

Secretary Mnuchin has since convened the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets to gather information on the resilience of the markets and the economic impact of COVID-19, and has scheduled a meeting of the full FSOC for March 23rd to further address these concerns.

Check back regularly for additional details and visit for health resources and updates on COVID-19.