President Donald Trump signed P.L. 116-127 (H.R. 6201), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, on March 18, 2020. The act provides supplemental appropriations for nutrition assistance programs and public health services and authorizes the Internal Revenue Service to implement tax credits for paid emergency sick leave and expanded family medical leave that the act requires certain employers to provide. In addition, the law adjusts the unemployment insurance program to waive temporarily certain eligibility requirements and provide more federal financial support to the states.

P.L. 116-127 is the second supplemental appropriation enacted that specifically addresses the COVID-19 pandemic following the enactment of P.L. 116-123 (H.R. 6074) on March 6, 2020. As was the case for P.L. 116-123, P.L. 116-127 includes oversight provisions designed to support Congress's ability to monitor and evaluate the executive branch's implementation of the act.

As Congress continues to play a significant role in the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining a consistent flow of useful information to Congress from the executive branch may be crucial for Congress's ability to exercise its oversight responsibilities. Including statutorily mandated oversight mechanisms in legislation may be a particularly important tool for Congress following reports of the White House's decision on Tuesday March 17, 2020, to stop participating in ongoing hearings on the subject through the end of March.

This Insight details selected oversight provisions included in P.L. 116-127 that mandate reporting to Congress. All of CRS's materials on the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact, and the federal government's response are available here.

Congressional Reporting Requirements in P.L. 116-127

P.L. 116-127 establishes the following reporting requirements: