Congressional Relief Legislation   

Congressional Relief Legislation   

Things are moving quickly with relief legislation on Capitol Hill.  The strategy, is to use the budget reconciliation process to quickly and efficiently pass legislation that will provide immediate relief.  We know that there’s an interest in picking up many of the provisions set out in the Administration’s American Rescue Plan draft.  Yesterday and today, several House Committees that have jurisdiction over different federal programs released bills covering sections of the package.  These include: 

  • The Ways & Means Committee proposal includes funding for nursing home strike teams and for the QIOs to develop and distribute infection control standards; funding for implementation of the Elder Justice Act; fundingfor child care assistance programs for low-income workers; the $1,400 per person stimulus payment; and extension of federal unemployment benefits through August 2021. The bill does not extend provider relief funds or expand tele-health reimbursement, all critical LeadingAge “asks”.  
  • The Energy & Commerce Committee is marking up its bill on Thursday and has still not released text or a summary. We anticipate a number of provisions important to LeadingAge members will be included and we will write up the important provisions when it is released.
  • The Financial Services Committee’s release includes $40 billion for rental and homeowner assistance and $10 billion for Defense Production Act spending to boost production of PPE, vaccines, and rapid tests, all of which LeadingAge supports. The bill does not include the $1.2 billion relief LeadingAge is seeking to address the impact of COVID-19 on HUD-assisted senior housing.
  • The Small Business Committee bill provides an additional $7.3 billion for PPP loans ($814B total), and expands eligibility for nonprofit organizations by applying the 500-employeelimit to a “per physical location” basis, thus exempting them from the PPP affiliation rules, which meets in part the eligibility expansion LeadingAge asked for. It also provides more funding for EIDL advances, and provides funding for SBA-focused community outreach, both of which LeadingAge supports. 
  • The Education & Labor Committee today held a full committee markup on their bill. The bill provides additional funding to support older Americans and their families; strengthens workplace protections for essential workers; provides aid to K-12 classrooms to assist students get back in the classroom; supports institutions of higher learning with relief funds; ensures child care systems can continue to have access and receive financial assistance; and gradually increases the minimum wage to $15 an hour for at least 25 million American workers. 

It appears that most of the provisions in these bills are near final.  Speaker Pelosi has indicated an interest in wrapping up a bill in the House within two weeks.  At the same time, the Senate is working on its package. 

 

Questions? 

Contact: 

David Carter | Director, Health Care Finance & Policy

C 360.888.5702

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February 10, 2021