The Senate adjourned for the week nowhere closer to a deal than when the week started. There is outrage on both sides as the enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire and concern grows over potential evictions notices, which had been on hold due to protections in the CARES Act.
It is a critical moment for millions of Americans who still face a high degree of uncertainty in their daily lives, professional lives, and for many, what awaits their children when the school year starts. It is these issues, including those surrounding scaling up testing, PPE production, and investments in vaccine research and distribution, that comprise the building blocks of the pending COVID relief package.
It may take a weekend of hammering out details and differences for a deal to emerge, which would put Congress back on schedule to getting a deal done before the August recess is slated to begin.
Easterseals is closely following the progress of this legislation and will be providing updates as developments arise.
House Appropriations Update
Today, the House approved a $1.3 trillion spending package by a vote of 217-197. The package, H.R. 7617, included six spending bills for FY 2021, including the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS). While this largely concludes the House’s work on FY 2021 spending bills, the legislation is almost certainly dead on arrival in the Senate due in part to $210 billion in emergency spending included in the bill.
Despite Senate efforts being completely stalled at the moment, both parties are acutely aware of the need to address FY 21 spending to avoid what would be a government shutdown on October 1, 2020. It is widely expected that Congress will agree on a continuing resolution to extend government funding beyond the election, but that process will likely not pick up until after Congress concludes its work on the next COVID relief package.
Medicaid Turns 55!
This week marks the 55th birthday of the Medicaid program. To further raise the profile of Medicaid in the context of COVID-19 and the election, the Association of Community Affiliated Providers released a white paper to show the numbers of people on Medicaid in every Congressional district. Please refer to the white paper by clicking here.