Congress Makes Last-Gasp Effort on COVID-19 Legislation and Other Must-Pass Proposals
In the wake of skyrocketing infections and increasing deaths, lawmakers are again attempting to achieve bipartisan, bicameral agreement on another round of emergency virus relief legislation, as well as a year-long federal funding bill and an extension of key health care programs.
Collectively, this is a legislative logjam, and pushing these priorities forward by the time that both chambers break for the holidays will be a huge lift. n4a sent a letter to congressional leaders urging any COVID-19 response bill to include, at a minimum, the $925 million that was part of the House-passed HEROES 2.0 bill. The letter also urged lawmakers to ensure that a full-year FY 2021 funding bill include increases for OAA and other important aging programs, as well as long-term funding for the Medicaid Money Follows the Person (MFP) program and outreach and enrollment assistance programs for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.
The current bipartisan proposal for coronavirus relief is an outline of just more than $900 billion, but as of Thursday specific details were still under wraps. Congressional appropriators are still working on longer-term funding agreements, but at this point we expect that lawmakers may try to roll all must-pass priorities into one massive bill. Stay tuned to n4a for more details, and continue advocating with federal legislators on key aging funding priorities.