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THE BIG DEAL—Trump faces unusual barrier to COVID-19 aid: President TrumpDonald John TrumpDes Moines mayor says he’s worried about coronavirus spread at Trump rally Judiciary Committee Democrats pen second letter to DOJ over Barrett disclosures: ‘raises more questions that it answers’ Trump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report MORE‘s last-ditch effort to secure another enormous package of emergency coronavirus relief is being threatened by an unusual group: his GOP allies in Congress.

For almost four years, Republican leaders have rallied behind the president on issues as varied as health care, immigration, trade and defense, even when his positions bucked long-held conservative doctrines.

Yet just weeks before the Nov. 3 election, as the embattled president is exhorting Congress to move a major package of COVID-19 aid, those same lawmakers have emerged as the single greatest barrier standing in his way. The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong tell us why here.

Republican resistance: 

The politics: The resistance comes at a crucial point in the presidential campaign, when Trump is recovering from his own bout with COVID-19, trailing badly in the polls and all but pleading with Republican leaders to “go big” with a late-cycle lifeline to promote on the trail.

“I would like to see a bigger stimulus package, frankly, than either the Democrats or

Shares of General Electric Co. took a sudden dive Tuesday afternoon, after the industrial conglomerate disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering civil action against the company for possible securities law violations.

The SEC has been conducting an investigation of GE’s revenue recognition practices and internal accounting controls over financial reporting related to long-term service agreements.

The SEC expanded the scope of the investigation after GE
GE,
-3.74%

 said in January 2018 that it was taking a multibillion charge following a review of GE Capital insurance portfolio. The investigation was expanded again after the company announced in October 2018 another multibillion charge related to its power business.

See related: Investors who paid attention to GE’s accounting saw trouble coming.

In an 8-K filing with the SEC at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, GE said that on Sept. 30, the SEC staff issued a “Wells notice” advising the company that it was considering a recommendation that the SEC bring a “civil injunctive action” against GE for possible violations of securities laws.


FactSet, MarketWatch

The stock was up about 1.6% just before the 8-K was filed, then fell off a cliff on heavy volume to sink as much as 4.5% at about 2:31 p.m., before paring some losses. The stock closed down 3.7% at $6.17, above the intraday low of $6.11. Trading volume ballooned to 169.1 million shares, enough to make it the most actively traded stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and well above the full-day average of about 101.2 million shares.

“GE has been informed that the issues the SEC staff may recommend that the SEC pursue relate to the historical premium deficiency testing for GE Capital’s runoff insurance operations, as well as GE’s disclosures relating to such runoff insurance operations,” GE said in a statement. “The

“Enrolling in Health Insurance,” Wellness Corporate Solutions

September 28, 2020; New York Times

One of the worst times to lose your health insurance would have to be during a pandemic. To date, 12 million people have lost employer-based health insurance coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic shutdown, but 85 percent of those affected have been able to find substitute insurance, whether that be through the Obamacare health exchange, Medicaid, or a spouse’s plan.

But as the end of the year approaches and CARES Act protections expire, that could be changing. Stan Dorn, the director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation at Families USA, raises the alarm. Dorn tells Reed Abelson of the New York Times that, “we are on track to have the largest coverage losses in our history.”

Abelson notes that, “Many businesses have tried to keep their workers insured during the pandemic. Employers relied on government aid, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorized by Congress to ease the economic fallout, to pay for premiums through the spring and summer.”

Government funding appears to have “prevented the economic crisis from becoming a coverage crisis right away,” says Leemore Dafny, a professor at Harvard Business School and lead author of an article last month looking at the pandemic’s effect on small business. According to Dafny, nearly a third of small businesses surveyed in late June said they were not sure they could keep paying premiums beyond August.

“We will probably really start to see it during renewal time, November and December,” Mark Hall, a professor who directs the health law and policy program at Wake Forest University,” remarks. “That will be when the money really dries up.”

Abelson notes that many small business owners prioritized using PPP dollars to keep their employees on health insurance, even