Congress still has yet to negotiate an agreement on the next COVID stimulus relief package. Amidst the gridlock, President Trump issued an executive order and three memorandums in an attempt to bypass Congressional gridlock on several issues, including student loan relief, eviction moratoriums, payroll tax deferrals, and unemployment benefits.
Two items school business officials will want to watch out for are any changes to payroll taxes and unemployment benefits. More information about the payroll tax deferral memo can be found here. As for unemployment benefits, the administration is seeking to use unspent FEMA funds for this purpose. This is a difficult logistical feat for many states to utilize since it would require creating a new, separate unemployment benefit program that adheres to FEMA's payment structure, whereby states would have to address costs up front and seek a 75% reimbursement from the federal government. Fewer than half of the states have taken advantage of the assistance offered through that memo because it would be too cumbersome too implement.Meanwhile, the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) reports that Senate Republicans released a smaller proposal for a COVID relief bill on Tuesday, which is a narrower or "skinny" version of the HEALS Act, and comes as House Democrats are drafting their own stand-alone Postal Service bill. The GOP's new proposal, S. 178 "Delivering Immediate Relief to America's Families, Schools, and Small Businesses Act" includes:
So far, Democratic leadership has expressed opposition to negotiating the GOP's "skinny" proposal, so it remains to be seen whether Congress can reach an agreement. Lawmakers are on recess and not scheduled to return to D.C. until after Labor Day. As we learn more information, we will share updates in the Legislative Affairs Community.------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.org------------------------------
As noted last month, Senate Republicans were working on another COVID relief package which is a narrower, pared down version of the HEALS Act—the Delivering Immediate Relief to America's Families, Schools, and Small Businesses Act. (The official/final bill text is available here, and a summary can be found here.)Although this bill will come up for a vote on Thursday, it is not expected to get Democratic support and will not pass. However, it is helpful to know what is in it since it signals what Republican lawmakers' priorities are for the next COVID package as they continue to negotiate across the aisle.What's in the bill?As highlighted in our prior alert, the bill would provide postal service funding, employer liability protection (including for schools), continue the PPP program for businesses, extend unemployment insurance at $300/week instead of $600/week through December, and provide some education and childcare relief funding (but no state and local fiscal relief). While there is no official cost estimate for the bill, the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) reports the net is expected to be about $500 billion.Education provisions in the proposal are similar to what was in the HEALS Act, which would provide $105 billion for the CARES Act's Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) and $15 billion for childcare. As a refresher, that funding would be divided as follows:
What is different between this bill and the HEALS Act?
As lawmakers make progress on negotiations for the next package, we will continue to provide updates here on the Global School Business Network. In the meantime, we encourage members to continue contacting their officials about the provisions that matter most to their districts and schools. Please feel free to use ASBO International's Legislative Resources to support your advocacy efforts. If you have any questions about advocating with your officials, please contact us.
So far, Democratic leadership has expressed opposition to negotiating the GOP's "skinny" proposal, so it remains to be seen whether Congress can reach an agreement. Lawmakers are on recess and not scheduled to return to D.C. until after Labor Day. As we learn more information, we will share updates in the Legislative Affairs Community.------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.orgOriginal Message:Sent: 07-30-2020 17:59From: ASBO USASubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package UpdateASBOUSA has posted a new legislative blog that shares key highlights of the Senate Republicans' proposal for the next COVID relief package, "What's in the Republican COVID Bill (HEALS Act) for K-12 Schools?".Please note that lawmakers must now negotiate to find a bipartisan agreement between the HEROES, CCERA, and HEALS Act proposals before we will know what is in the next COVID Phase 4 / 5 bill. Stay tuned to the Legislative Affairs Community for further updates.------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.orgOriginal Message:Sent: 07-23-2020 15:08From: ASBO USASubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package UpdateSince COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, Congress passed several COVID stimulus or relief packages to support nationwide response and recovery efforts in March and April. These include:
Hi Katie, thanks for asking! We are monitoring this issue very closely. While nothing is final as of yet, here is what we're hearing on the Hill:Congress was on recess for the Labor Day holiday and did not reach an agreement on the next COVID package before adjourning. Both the House Democrat HEROES Act and Republican Senate HEALS Act were considered dead on arrival and negotiations remained at a standstill. The Senate is in session this week, but the House won't be back in session until next week. Congress has the following priorities for the next few weeks:
Once we have more substantial information from Congressional negotiations, we will post an alert here in the community. Please know that ASBO International is continuing to advocate for at least $200 billion in federal education aide ($175 billion via CARES funding and $25 billion for categorical funding via Title I and IDEA) for schools. If you have any other questions, please feel free to post them here!Sincerely,
This is very helpful. Thanks so much for all your (ASBO's) work, Elleka!
Katie E. Johnson, Esq.
Deputy Executive Director
Ohio Association of School Business Officials
98 Commerce Park Drive | Westerville, Ohio 43082
O: 614-431-9116, ext. 110 | C: 614-404-5277 | Toll-free: 844-838-5395
Yesterday, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers from the Problem Solvers Caucus released a framework for a COVID-relief package that attempts to find a compromise between the Democrat-proposed HEROES Act and Republican-proposed HEALS Act. The outline is smaller in scope and cost than the HEROES Act but larger than the HEALS Act and the other Republican skinny bill (the Delivering Immediate Relief to America's Families, Schools, and Small Businesses Act). Unfortunately, House and Senate leadership on both sides are not interested in supporting the moderate caucus' proposal. Democrats indicated they would only be willing to agree to a $2.2 trillion COVID package (coming down from an original ask of $3 trillion), whereas Republicans have refused to support a package greater than $500 billion. The Problem Solvers Caucus proposal totals about $1.5 trillion.For more information on what's in the Problem Solvers Caucus proposal, see the proposal here. Some items of interest to school business officials are below. The proposal would provide:
Thanks so much! Your updates are greatly appreciated.
Last week, House Democrats proposed an updated version of the HEROES act (HEROES 2.0) as the latest counteroffer for a COVID-19 relief package. Find the HEROES 2.0 full bill text here; a section-by-section summary here; and bill provisions on state and local aid in this one-pager here.Below are some education-specific provisions in the HEROES Act that may be of interest, as reported from the Committee for Education Funding (CEF; cef.org).
As with other partisan COVID-relief packages, HEROES 2.0 is another proposal that would still require further negotiations for Congress to reach an agreement. Last week, we were heartened to see negotiations continue between House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, however there was still significant disagreement on how much state/local aid the next relief package should provide. Negotiations stalled once again after news emerged last Friday that President Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and was being cared for at Walter Reed Medical Center. After the President was discharged on Monday to return to the White House, he announced on Tuesday that he instructed staff to stop negotiating on a COVID-19 stimulus plan until after the elections and is instead focusing on the Supreme Court nomination process to fill the vacancy opened after Justice Ginsburg's recent passing.Stay tuned for more updates on COVID-relief legislation and education funding here on ASBO's Legislative Affairs Community as we learn more information.
In the latest round of COVID-relief negotiations, yesterday a bipartisan group of lawmakers released a $908 billion proposal (summary is attached to this post; no bill text has been released). "The Bipartisan Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020" is considered a last-attempt effort to pass another package before the end of Congress' 116th session and is far from final, as many Congress members are unhappy with the bill for either including liability protections for employers related to COVID-19 lawsuits or providing $160 billion for state and local government aid.There are however, several provisions that school business professionals may be interested in, highlighted below.
It remains to be seen whether the proposal will make progress through Congress, as negotiations for a fifth relief package have broken down multiple times this year. Please stay tuned for additional updates as negotiations evolve and we learn more information.
This evening, legislative text is expected to be released for a bipartisan $908 billion COVID-relief package that has been in the works, which we also noted in our legislative alert last week. The Committee for Education Funding (CEF) reports the COVID-relief package may actually be split into two parts to increase chances of passage.
------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.orgOriginal Message:Sent: 10-15-2020 07:25From: ASBO USASubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package UpdateLate last week, the Trump Administration made an offer of a $1.8 trillion COVID-relief package that both House Democratic leaders and Senate Republicans have rejected. The House and Senate are both on recess this week while the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.On Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi outlined her caucus's concerns with the administration's proposal, noting it provides less assistance than the $2.2 trillion relief package the House passed last month, which was already a concession from the original larger HEROES Act that the House passed in May. The speaker called out the Administration's proposal for $300 billion in state and local relief and $25 billion for child care as insufficient in particular. Moreover, House Education and Labor Committee chair Bobby Scott (D-VA) rejected the Administration's reported offer of $150 billion for education, saying "The lack of sufficient support for state and local governments, in combination with their measly offer to increase funding for education stabilization, is not enough to help schools reopen safely. Additionally, our child care system is on the brink of collapse and their proposal would not even cover half of what is needed. If we cannot reopen schools safely and without child care, we will never fully be able to reopen the economy." The Committee for Education Funding (CEF) reports that there still could be movement towards a compromise on another package, but first the Republican Senate is likely to make clear what it can support, since negotiations are currently between the House and the Administration. As we continue to monitor COVID-relief package negotiations, we will be sure to share information here on the network. ------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.orgOriginal Message:Sent: 10-07-2020 14:21From: ASBO USASubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package Update
------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.orgOriginal Message:Sent: 09-16-2020 16:17From: Katie JohnsonSubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package Update
Original Message:Sent: 9/16/2020 3:11:00 PMFrom: ASBO USASubject: RE: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package Update
If Congress cannot break through its gridlock on COVID-relief negotiations, it is possible that another package may not come until after the 2020 elections. With Election Day fast approaching, lawmakers' focus are divided between campaigning, passing a government funding bill to keep agencies open (fiscal year ends September 30), and passing another COVID relief bill. House Speaker Pelosi announced this week that the House will not go on its October recess unless another COVID package has been negotiated, however it remains to be seen if this will provide enough pressure to work out an agreement. As this issue evolves, we will continue to share information here on the network. ------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.orgOriginal Message:Sent: 09-08-2020 11:54From: Katie JohnsonSubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package Update
Original Message:Sent: 9/8/2020 11:47:00 AMFrom: Elleka YostSubject: RE: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package Update
------------------------------Elleka YostGovernment Affairs & Communications ManagerASBO Internationaleyost@asbointl.orgAshburn, VAUnited StatesOriginal Message:Sent: 09-06-2020 15:22From: Katie JohnsonSubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package UpdateThank you for always keeping us updated! Just checking in to see if you anticipate any movement on the next COVID relief package in the near future?------------------------------Katie JohnsonDeputy Executive DirectorOhio ASBOkatie@oasbo-ohio.orgWesterville, OHUnited StatesOriginal Message:Sent: 07-23-2020 15:08From: ASBO USASubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package UpdateSince COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, Congress passed several COVID stimulus or relief packages to support nationwide response and recovery efforts in March and April. These include:
For the COVID 4 / 5 package, House Democrats passed their proposal on May 15, H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which was dead on arrival in the Senate. On June 30th, Senate Democrats introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA), a $430 billion fiscal aid proposal for child care providers, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities as concerns about school reopening became center to the national conversation of restarting the economy, following information shared by ASBO International and AASA regarding the estimated costs districts may incur to safely reopen schools.In mid-July Senate Republicans started negotiations on their own COVID 4 / 5 proposal in conjunction with the White House to pass a bill before the end of month. Lawmakers are pressured to pass another COVID package soon due to expiring provisions concerning unemployment benefits, eviction rules on federally-back mortgages, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the urgent need for K-12 education funding to help schools prepare for a safe school year. (For more details on competing House, Senate, and Trump Administration priorities with the next COVID package, visit this link.)Senate Republicans were expected to reveal their COVID 4 / 5 or "CARES 2" proposal this week, however due to disagreements on the proposal scope, cost, and specific unemployment provisions, we may not see bill text until next week. The Committee for Education Funding (CEF; cef.org) has shared several provisions that reportedly are in the bill, but we won't know for sure until we see the bill text:
Please stay tuned to the Legislative Affairs Community for more information. As soon as we have final bill text, we will share any updates here.------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.org------------------------------
ASBO International is still waiting to see final legislative text from Congress for a massive spending package that could include $1.4 trillion in FY21 funding for federal agencies through September 30, 2021 as well as a fifth COVID-relief bill totaling nearly $900 billion. While these provisions are still being negotiated, our latest intel indicates the following provisions may be included:
Some of the issues that are holding up negotiations include:
Congress will likely have to pass another short-term CR to keep the government open as lawmakers finalize COVID-relief negotiations, since the text is still being drafted and would need time to clear the House, Senate, and President's desk. We hope to have more information early next week.
Once we receive legislative text we will be sure to share any updates here on the network. Thank you.------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.orgOriginal Message:Sent: 12-10-2020 16:43From: ASBO USASubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package Update
This afternoon, Congress released the legislative text for a 5,500+ page $2.3 trillion omnibus package, which would provide FY21 funding for federal agencies and programs through September 30, another round of emergency COVID relief, and authorize/extend programs set to expire by the end of this year.
For a high-level breakdown of what's included in the package, please read our latest legislative blog. Note the bill will not become law unless it clears the House, Senate, and President's desk this week.
------------------------------ASBO USAasbousa@asbointl.orgOriginal Message:Sent: 12-14-2020 14:47From: ASBO USASubject: CARES 2 / Next COVID Relief Package Update