August 17, 2020 Legislative Insight

SLAA News,

What We're Watching on Capitol Hill This Week

What to Watch This Week

The United States Post Office: COVID-19 has turned up the pressure on the U.S. Post Office in two ways…first, it’s exacerbated the postal service’s balance-sheet problems, making the agency more in need of direct government help, and secondly, record numbers of Americans are expected to receive and cast their ballots by mail in advance of the November 3rd election, hoping to avoid crowds of people at polling places. Congress tries to address this issue this week.

Congress: The House meets tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. for a pro forma session. Pelosi has stated that the House will return to address the USPS matter this week and details on the schedule will be released later this week. The Senate meets tomorrow at noon for a pro forma session.

Democratic National Convention: The Democratic National Convention, which begins today and ends Thursday with Joe Biden accepting the nomination for president, will be almost entirely virtual, with speakers delivering addresses from around the U.S. that will be streamed on the internet and broadcast by network and cable news outlets.  

Last Week's Highlights

Economic News: The unemployment rate stands at 10.2 percent, after peaking at 15% in April. Last week, U.S. unemployment claims fell below one million last week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March.

New applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 963,000 marking the second weekly reduction in filings. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits through regular state programs, which cover most workers, also decreased to about 15.5 million at the beginning of August.

Experts note that the decline in jobless claims indicates layoffs are easing and hiring is picking up.

Read our full analysis of the USPS controversy and the rest of this week's update on important movement and activity in Washington by visiting the HBS website-  Click Here.