Two weeks ago the $2.2 Trillion CARES Act (Pub. L. 116–136) got signed into law. Since then, many industries have been working hard to wrap their head around the implications of this 335-page document while Federal and State agencies rush to publish regulations and guidance.
The CARES Act can be overwhelming — its 335 pages lead to numerous changes to existing laws, various new laws, and obligations for government agencies to issue regulations. The magnitude of these changes have made it challenging for even the more seasoned professionals to comprehend the impact of this Act.
In order to help you refocus on your business, Regology has distilled the Act into appendices that list out all the new laws and changes to existing laws represented in the United States Code. This list can be compared against your company’s law library for ease of reference to identify parts of your organization that will be impacted by this Act.
Within the CARES Act, there are several individual acts that each have their own objective:
- The Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act
- Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
- COVID–19 Pandemic Education Relief Act of 2020
- Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020
Included in these acts may be amendments to laws already in place, which are further addressed below.
The CARES Act contains numerous law changes, predominantly changes to laws codified in the United States Code. There are also law changes for which the precise location in the United States Code must still be determined, for instance a new chapter is added to the Social Security Act, Title VI: Coronavirus Relief Fund.
The USC Titles that have been amended are stated below. You can find a detailed list of all the law amendments here.
- Title 2 — The Congress
- Title 6 — Domestic Security
- Title 11 — Bankruptcy
- Title 12 — Banks and Banking
- Title 15 — Commerce and Trade
- Title 17 — Copyrights
- Title 18 — Crimes and Criminal Procedure
- Title 21 — Food and Drugs
- Title 26 — Internal Revenue Code
- Title 29 — Labor Code
- Title 31 — Treasury
- Title 39 — Postal Service
- Title 40 — Public Building, Property, and Works
- Title 42 — Public Health and Welfare
- Title 45 — Railroad
Effective date of laws
Although the CARES Act is already in force, various components of the Act have different effective dates and/or are applicable for specific timeframes. You can find a detailed listing of effective dates for specific law amendments here.
The CARES Act has already resulted in changes being made to regulations and we will see a continuation of regulation changes for the coming months. See the appendix for a listing of identified actions for departments of the U.S. government as required by the CARES Act.
The Administrator of the SBA
- Authority to issue regulations — Regulations to carry out The Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act, and the amendments made by such act without regard to the notice requirements under 5 U.S.C. 553(b). The deadline set for these regulations is 15 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
- Authority to issue regulations — The Administrator shall issue guidance and regulations implementing section 1106 of the CARES Act, regarding loan forgiveness of covered loans, as guaranteed under paragraph (36) of section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)), as added by section 1102 of the CARES Act. The deadline for issuing these regulations is 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
- Authority to issue regulations — Regulations in connection with Section 1106(d) of the CARES Act, granting de minimis exemptions with respect to the limits on the amounts of forgiveness for covered loans, as guaranteed under paragraph (36) of section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)), as added by section 1102 of the CARES Act. (this action can be together with the Secretary of the Treasury).
The Secretary of the Treasury
- Authority to issue regulations — The Secretary may issue regulations and guidance as necessary relating to the payment protection program, including to —
(A) allow additional lenders to originate loans; and
(B) establish terms and conditions for loans, including terms and conditions concerning compensation, underwriting standards, interest rates, and maturity.
- Authority to issue regulations — In addition to the authority to issue regulations and guidance for the above purpose, this authority is extended to other matters included in the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act.
- Authority to issue regulations — Regulations or other guidance to carry out the recovery rebates offered to individuals (26 U.S.C. 6428) to avoid allowing multiple credits or rebates to a taxpayer.
- Authority to issue regulations — Regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the authorities or purposes of the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020.
- Authority to issue regulations — Regulations or guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of Section 4003 of the CARES Act (Emergency relief and taxpayer protections), including guidance providing that the acquisition of warrants, stock options, common or preferred stock or other equity under this section does not result in an ownership change for purposes of 26 U.S.C. Section 382.
- Authority to issue regulations — Forms, instructions, regulations, and guidance as necessary with respect to the employee retention credit for employers subject to closure due to COVID–19, per Section 2301 of the CARES Act.
- Authority to issue regulations — Regulations in connection with Section 1106(d) of the CARES Act, granting de minimis exemptions with respect to the limits on the amounts of forgiveness for covered loans, as guaranteed under paragraph (36) of section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)), as added by section 1102 of the CARES Act. (this action can be together with the Secretary of the SBA).
The Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Authority to issue regulations — Revisions to regulations for implementing and enforcing the amendments made by Section 3221 of the CARES Act to several provisions of Title 42 of the United States Code.
- Requirement to withdraw Regulations — Pursuant to the changes to Chapter V of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355g), the Secretary shall withdraw regulations establishing final monographs and the procedures governing the over-the-counter drug review under 21 CFR Part 330 (and others), or make technical changes to such regulations. Any such withdrawal or technical changes shall be made without public notice and comment and shall be effective upon publication through notice in the Federal Register, unless otherwise determined.
- Authority to issue regulations — The Secretary may make prescriptions under this section by regulation, including by interim final rule, or by guidance, as it relates to the requirement for laboratories to report the results from a test that is intended to detect SARS–CoV–2 or to diagnose a possible case of COVID–19.
- Authority to issue regulations — Regulations relating to amendments made to Section 1814(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395f(a)) per Section 3708 of the CARES Act.
- Issue guidance — Guidance on the sharing of patients’ protected health information pursuant to 45 CFR 160.103. This guidance shall include information on compliance with the regulations promulgated pursuant to section 264(c) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2 note) and applicable policies, including such policies that may come into effect during such emergencies. The deadline for issuing this guidance is 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
The Secretary of Labor
- Issue guidance — Clarifying guidance to allow States to interpret their State unemployment compensation laws in a manner that would provide maximum flexibility to reimbursing employers as it relates to timely payment and assessment of penalties and interest pursuant to such State laws.
- Issue guidance — Any operating instructions or other guidance necessary to carry out the provisions of The Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act, including amendments made by such act.
- Authority to issue regulations — Reporting requirements for States that receive a grant for enacting short-time compensation programs.
The Architect of the Capitol
- Authority to issue regulations — The Architect of the Capitol shall promulgate regulations (as may be necessary) to carry out its authority to continue making payments for not more than 16 weeks with regards to employees of contractors impacted by the coronavirus emergency.
The Railroad Retirement Board
- Authority to issue regulations — Regulations relating to the waiver of the 7-day waiting period for benefits under The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.
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