We’ve written much in this newsletter over the past 10 days about how we’ve been working with other industry players and policyholder groups to build consensus around the creation of a federal facility to help save American businesses broadly that are threatened with extinction by the current ravages of the pandemic. This morning, you received a “Yellow Alert” with this letter from 35 major organizations – business/policyholders and insurance, but mostly policyholders – and this summary of our proposed “COVID-19 Business and Employee Continuation and Recovery Fund.”
The policyholders who signed on to this letter cut through a broad swath of American business and all are respected organizations on Capitol Hill. We continue to have good ongoing discussions with other major stakeholders. Our goal is the enactment of this legislation as a part of a necessary Phase 4 of economic triage.
The next phase of our efforts will be to identify a bipartisan lineup of champions for this legislation on Capitol Hill. We are already sensing great interest from many of the legislators with whom we have built strong relationships over the years. As we consult with our allies on identifying congressional authors, we encourage you to share these documents with your clients. Already, we know of a couple of firms that are circulating the letter to clients in industry sectors that are not currently represented among the cosigners, and encourage them to get their trade associations to support this approach, which is modeled after the 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund.
So, what are its chances? It is far too difficult to assess at this point, and there will need to be a groundswell from the business community. Perhaps in the end this isn’t the approach, but right now it’s the best one that we see. Challenges – we’ve got a few:
Finally, we want to praise the Reinsurance Association of America’s Frank Nutter for conceptualizing this proposal, and we heap praise on Jennifer Platt, the tireless lobbyist for the International Council of Shopping Centers, for running point with the policyholder community.