Trade groups unite in push to get COVID-19 cost relief provision extended

Just shy of a dozen trade associations representing companies that operate in the government market have asked congressional appropriators to extend a provision of the first coronavirus economic relief law.

Section 3610 of the CARES Act expires at the end of September and the leaders of those 11 groups are asking that a continuing resolution to keep federal agencies funded include an extension of those authorities.

Under that provision, federal agencies can reimburse contractors for labor costs of workers that could not access federal facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contractors view Section 3610 as a key tool to avoid the stark choice of either layoffs or potentially running out of cash.

Groups that signed the letter sent Wednesday were the following:

  • Aerospace Industries Association
  • Alliance for Digital Innovation
  • American Council of Engineering Companies
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • Center for Procurement Advocacy
  • Computing Technology Industry Association
  • Intelligence and National Security Alliance
  • Information Technology Industry Council
  • National Defense Industrial Association
  • Professional Services Council
  • Shipbuilders Council of America

Given the COVID-19 delta variant’s acceleration, the groups both want the Section 3610 authorities continued for this pandemic and made into a permanent tool for future crisis situations.

That letter sent Wednesday comes nearly a week after PSC sent one of its own to Capitol Hill advocating for the extension.

Both PSC’s letter and the most recent statement they were a signatory to cited a Government Accountability Office report from July that said 12 out of 15 interviewed contractors said the provision had a “great” or “moderate effect” on retaining employees.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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