Senators Struggle to Find Common Ground on COVID-19 Relief
As details trickle out from the Senate, it is clear that continued advocacy will be essential to ensure that older adults are not left out of the next round of emergency legislation responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
At this point, Senate discussions around priorities for a fourth pandemic response package are limited to members of the Senate majority, but even the Republican caucus is split on the scope of a bill. What we know for certain is that a Senate bill will likely be much smaller than the House-passed HEROES Act, and we expect that it will focus largely on providing another round of stimulus payments and money for schools that choose to reopen. It is possible that policies supporting older adults—such as additional Older Americans Act funding and boosts to state Medicaid programs—could be left off the table entirely.
Moving forward, the majorities in each chamber must negotiate a final deal, so it is absolutely critical that aging advocates continue to weigh in with lawmakers and insist that they include ongoing supports for older Americans. Stay tuned to n4a for updated advocacy news and messages.