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Congress Passes Second Coronavirus Emergency Funding Bill, Starts on Third

This week Congress passed, and the President signed, $100 billion in funding to respond to the ongoing health and economic emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in the bill, H.R. 6201, is $250 million in supplemental funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) nutrition programs. The Senate and House are now focused on a much broader, third round of emergency funding to provide direct cash payments to millions of affected Americans and additional funding for many programs on the front lines of the crisis.

As part of these discussions, which are expected to progress quickly, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and 22 of his Senate colleagues have introduced a bill, S. 3544, proposing nearly $3 billion in additional funding for OAA programs. This bill includes $1 billion for OAA Title III B Supportive Services, $1.65 billion for Title III C2 Home Delivered Meals, $185 million for Title III E Family Caregiver Supports and $16 million for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. The bill also includes expanded flexibility for Medicaid HCBS, including around shoring up the home care workforce. n4a will closely follow the progress of this funding proposal and others as the Senate and House move toward passing another round of emergency funding as soon as early next week.
 
More on the Passed H.R. 6201: The $250 million for OAA nutrition programs ($80 million for Title III C1, $160 million for C2 and $10 million for Title VI Part A) does not require a state match. And, if a state follows the guidance released by ACL on March 16 and declares a major disaster with FEMA, it can use these Title III C funds and its currently appropriated OAA dollars in flexible ways to respond to this crisis.
 
n4a will continue to aggressively push for these and other policy proposals that help the Aging Network serve older adults and their caregivers during this unprecedented time. Stay tuned to n4a for breaking policy news as this process evolves. You can also get caught up on these bills and other coronavirus policy updates by listening to the recording of this week's policy webinar.

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