Congress and Administration Set Stage to Advance Next COVID-19 Relief Bill
Speaker Pelosi and the new Democratic majority in the Senate are setting up a fast-track budget process next week that will lay the legislative foundation for what is expected to be a nearly $2 trillion emergency response measure to address the health and economic fall out of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, which is expected to largely mirror the proposal that President Biden sent to Congress and national plan for COVID response he laid out last week.
In the little more than a week since President Biden and a new Senate majority were sworn in, the process is rapidly accelerating. While n4a is supportive of many of the initiatives and priorities included in the Administration's plans, we are also concerned that there is very little mention of supporting high-risk older adults and caregivers at home during the extended health and economic crisis. Therefore, with potentially very little time to affect the content of a legislative package, n4a and our national Aging Network advocacy organization partners have been laser focused on having conversations with key staff members and circulating letters from n4a and Aging Network Stakeholder organizations as well as a memo to the Biden Administration urging critical investments in additional roughly $1.4 billion in emergency funding for OAA programs.
Because the Senate and House are now under control of the same party, lawmakers could use a procedural process called reconciliation to advance spending and policy measures that are immune from the threat of Senate filibuster. As such, there may be very little time to influence the substance of the bill. Therefore, it will be critical for grassroots aging advocates to reach out early next week. Stay tuned to an Advocacy Alert and additional resources for advocates to urge their lawmaker to include vital OAA funding in another round of COVID-19 response.