Letter Urging Congressional Leaders to Extend Certain CARES Act Provisions



July 26, 2021

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                                        The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

Speaker,                                                                                        Minority Leader, 

U.S. House of Representatives                                                     U. S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515                                                              Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Richard Neal                                                         The Honorable Kevin Brady

Chairman,                                                                                      Ranking Member, 

Committee on Ways and Means,                                                  Committee on Ways and Means, 

U.S. House of Representatives                                                     U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515                                                                 Washington, DC 20515

 

    The Honorable Charles E. Schumer                                              The Honorable Mitch McConnell

    Majority Leader,                                                                              Minority Leader, 

    United States Senate                                                                      United States Senate

    Washington, DC 20510                                                                   Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Ron Wyden                                                            The Honorable Mike Crapo

Chairman,                                                                                       Ranking Member, 

Finance Committee                                                                        Finance Committee 

United States Senate                                                                     United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510                                                                  Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leaders McConnell and McCarthy, Chairman Neal and Ranking Member Brady, and Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Crapo:

We are writing on behalf of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NAS WA), a non-profit and non-partisan association, to urge action as soon as possible to continue three vital aspects of COVID-19 legislation that will otherwise expire September 6, 2021. Our members are on the front lines, administering the nations' unemployment insurance (UI) programs. Our membership, workforce agencies in all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, agree on the following as high priority items:

  • An extension of Section 2106 of the CARES ACT authorizing state staffing flexibility is critical for the continued operation of UI programs. States have relied on nonmerit staffing for hiring temporary staff or rehiring retirees or former employees on a noncompetitive basis in order to process the elevated number of claims. Given the continuing increased claim load, it is requested that maximum flexibility for staffing be extended through 2022.

  • The current waiver of interest payments and the accrual of interest on federal advances to UI trust funds should be extended through 2022. With extreme claim loads, many states are borrowing in order to make UI payments. Given the continued economic stress, all state workforce agencies agree that a continued moratorium on interest accrual and payments is critical in order to avoid significant increased taxes and assessments on employers.

  • Clarity is needed to protect states that quickly assisted citizens through the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. In the summer of 2020, states were encouraged to quickly implement the LWA program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), to provide a supplemental UI benefit after the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) lapsed. NASWA requests legislation to hold states harmless for unobtainable LWA overpayments as long as good faith efforts are being made to recoup improper payments.

Image removed.The three items above are critical to promote economic recovery as well as the efficient administration of UI programs. Our NASWA 2021 Legislative Priorities include additional recommendations for additional improvements in the public workforce system.

 

Sincerely,

Fitzgerald Washington
NASWA Board Chair
Secretary,
Alabama Department of Labor

 

Robert Asaro-Angelo
NASWA Board Chair-Elect
Commissioner,
New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development

 

Scott B. Sanders
NASWA President and CEO

 

 

 

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