July 24, 2020
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:
To ensure the American defense manufacturing base can recover from the pandemic and associated shutdowns, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges Congress to extend Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and approve funding to carry out the provision.
Section 3610 permits federal agencies to reimburse contractors for the costs of providing paid leave to employees who cannot perform work on a government approved site (or otherwise perform remotely) due to the pandemic.
Funds to support such reimbursements, as well as other equitable adjustments for contractors having to provide protective equipment to employees and for modifications to workspaces and factories, were not specifically appropriated under the CARES Act. Absent supplemental appropriations, funds will likely not be sufficiently available to prevent significant harm to the federal industrial base and the essential national security programs they support.
Federal agencies must have the authority, flexibility, and resources needed to reimburse the industrial base for pandemic expenses. We urge you to consider supplemental appropriations and an extension of the expiration date to effectively implement Section 3610.
Neil L. Bradley