Legislative Affairs

  • 1.  Biden Administration Actions - First 10 Days

    Posted 01-21-2021 10:43
    Good morning, please find information below regarding actions taken (or planned to be taken) by the Biden Administration. We will update this thread to track highlights from the Biden Administration's first 10 days, since there will be a flurry of executive branch activity while Congress is occupied with cabinet nomination and POTUS impeachment hearings during this time.

    Summary of President Biden's Day One Executive Orders (January 20). See the document attached to this post for a full summary.
    1. "100 day masking challenge." Asks Americans to wear masks for 100 days and for masks to be required in all federal buildings, on all federal lands, and by federal employees and contractors.
    2. U.S. will rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO) to play a role in coordinating the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    3. Asking agencies to extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums (through March 2021) and student loan payment deferrals (through September 2021). 
    4. U.S. will tackle climate change crises by rejoining the Paris climate accord and rolling back several Trump Administration environmental actions (regarding fuel economy/emissions, methane emissions, appliance and building efficiency standards, oil/natural gas leasing activities, keystone pipeline permits, etc.).
    5. Launching a "Whole-of-Government Initiative to Advance Racial Equity" that will lead to many more federal agency actions over the next several months. Also would rescind the Trump Administration's 1776 Commission and executive order preventing federal agencies and contractors from implementing diversity/inclusion training.
    6. Several immigration policy reforms including: Revoking the Trump Administration's U.S. Census actions for counting non-citizens; preserving/fortifying protections for Dreamers under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; Reversing the Trump Administration's "Muslim travel ban" policy; Revoking extreme immigration enforcement by the Department of Homeland Security; Stopping construction of the southern border wall; etc.
    7. Combatting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation by ensuring federal agencies prohibit workplace discrimination and that they take all lawful steps to ensure federal anti-discrimination statutes that cover sex discrimination (e.g., Title IX) to include prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 
    8. Establishes ethics rules for federal personnel to help maintain public trust in the federal government.
    9. Rescinds a Trump Administration executive order for federal regulatory processes. Also issued a regulatory freeze to pause any new regulations from moving forward to allow the Biden Administration time to review regulations from the prior administration first. (See document attached to this post for a list of regulations under review). 

      Biden Administration Acting Agency Leads (Until Cabinet Members Are Formally Nominated)

      • Central Intelligence Agency, David Cohen
      • Department of Defense, David Norquist
      • Department of Energy, David Huizenga
      • Department of Health and Human Services, Norris Cochran
      • Department of Homeland Security, David Pekoske
      • Department of Justice, Monty Wilkinson
      • Department of Labor, Al Stewart
      • Department of State, Dan Smith
      • Department of Treasury, Andy Baukol
      • Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Lora Shiao
      • General Services Administration, Katy Kale
      • National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Steve Jurczyk
      • National Endowment for the Arts, Ann Eilers
      • National Endowment for the Humanities, Adam Wolfson
      • Office of Management and Budget, Rob Fairweather
      • Office of National Drug Control Policy, Regina LaBelle
      • Office of Personnel Management, Kathy McGettigan
      • Small Business Administration, Tami Perriello
      • Social Security Administration, Andrew Saul
      • U.S. Agency for International Development, Gloria Steele
      • U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Dev Jagadesan
      • U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Rich Mills
      • Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Maria Pagan

      (Special thanks to the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) for sharing this information.)

      ASBO USA


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    1. 2.  RE: Biden Administration Actions - First 10 Days

      Posted 01-21-2021 12:28
      Good afternoon, the Biden Administration released information today about several COVID-19 Executive Orders along with a report on the administration's National Strategy for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. (See documents attached to this post.) Highlights are below:

      The Biden Administration's COVID-19 Strategy is organized around seven goals, bolded items may be of interest to school district leaders:
      1. Restore trust with the American people.
      2. Mount a safe, effective, and comprehensive vaccination campaign.
      3. Mitigate spread through expanding masking, testing, data, treatments, health care workforce, and clear public health standards.
      4. Immediately expand emergency relief and exercise the Defense Production Act.
        1. Fix supply gaps to support effective distribution of vaccines, tests, and treatment. Expand availability of supplies and provide state/local government support.
        2. Increase emergency funding to states to bolster the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) response. Direct FEMA to fully reimburse states for the cost of National Guard personnel and emergency supplies, including supplies like PPE for schools and child care providers.
      5. Safely reopen schools, businesses, and travel while protecting workers. 
        1. Invest federal resources in rapid testing, expanding our rapid response public health workforce, providing clear guidance and protections, and support people to stay home when infected to mitigate spread of COVID-19.
        2. Ensure that students and educators are able to resume safe, in-person learning as soon as possible, with the goal of getting a majority of K-8 schools safely open in 100 days.
        3. Direct a national strategy for safely reopening schools, to include requiring the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services (ED & HHS) to provide guidance on safe reopening and operating; to develop a clearinghouse of lessons learned and best practices.
        4. Calling on Congress to provide at least $130 billion in dedicated funding to schools and $350 billion in flexible state/local relief funds to help districts avoid lay-offs and close budget gaps, and additional resources to help schools safely reopen (including funds to implement screening testing).
        5. The Administration will release a handbook helping school and local leaders implement precautions and strategies necessary for safe reopening. It will also work with states and school districts to support screening testing in schools and ensure an adequate supply of test kits. 
        6. Protect workers and issue stronger worker safety guidance by updating OSHA guidance on COVID-19 worker protections. 
        7. Calling on Congress to extend and expand emergency paid leave; to allow OSHA to issue standards covering a broad set of workers including public workers on frontlines; to provide additional funding for worker health and safety enforcement, and grant funding for organizations to help keep vulnuerable workers health and safe from COVID-19.
      6. Protect those most at risk and advance equity, including across racial, ethnic and rural/urban lines.
      7. Restore U.S. leadership globally and build better preparedness for future threats.

      With regard to Biden's goal of safely reopening schools, the executive order (EO) fact sheet highlights that:

      • ED and HHS will provide guidance on safe reopening and operating for schools, child care providers, and institutions of higher education.
      • The EO directs ED and HHS to collect data around reopening and school closures so state and local officials have metrics to inform decision-making and can better understand the impact of closures on students from families with low-incomes, students of color, English learners, students with disabilities, and others.
      • The administration's COVID-19 Response Team will ensure that testing materials, support for contact tracing, and vaccinations for teachers are equitably provided to support in-person care and learning. 
      • The EO encourages the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase broadband connectivity options for students lacking reliable internet at home so they can continue learning if their schools are operating remotely.
      • This EO is supported by (but separate from) a presidential memorandum directing FEMA to reimburse eligible emergency supplies, such as PPE for schools.
      • The Administration will engage with education stakeholders and have ED & HHS ensure guidance for schools is updated base on the latest science and developments in the pandemic, including the spread of new virus variants with higher transmission rates.

      Finally, there is one other document attached with a 10-day calendar outlining Biden's agenda for his first ten days in office. This may be of interest to those who want to know about other administration policy priorities and executive actions coming in the days ahead.

      ASBO USA

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    2. 3.  RE: Biden Administration Actions - First 10 Days

      Posted 01-22-2021 11:53
      Edited by ASBO USA 01-22-2021 11:53
        |   view attached

      Today, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) to "launch an all-of-government effort to provide equitable emergency economic relief" to Americans. A fact sheet about the EO (attached to this post) notes it will:

      • Ask the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to consider expanding and extending federal nutrition assistance programs.
      • Ask the Treasury Department to consider changing its delivery structure of financial assistance to Americans to ensure equitable and effective delivery of payments.
      • Ask the Department of Labor (DOL) to consider clarifying that workers who refuse unsafe working conditions can still receive unemployment insurance.
      • Establish an interagency benefit coordination structure to enable effective and equitable distribution of government assistance. 

      Specific items that may be of interest to school business professionals include:

      • President Biden is calling on Congress to extend the 15% Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit increase.
      • President Biden is asking USDA to consider taking the following steps to provide nutrition assistance to families by:
        • Increasing access to nutritious food for children missing meals due to school closures through the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program; asking USDA to issue new guidance increasing P-EBT benefits by approximately 15% to accurately reflect the costs of missing meals.
        • Allowing larger SNAP allotments for the lowest-income households; ask USDA to consider issuing new guidance to allow states to increase SNAP emergency allotments for those who need it most.
        • Asking USDA to update food assistance benefits to reflect the true cost of a healthy diet by revising USDA's Thrifty Food Plan, which serves as the basis for determining SNAP benefits.
      • President Biden is directing his administration to start the work to allow him to issue a subsequent EO within the first 100 days to require federal contractors to pay a $15 minimum wage and provide emergency paid leave to workers; directs the Office of Personnel Management to develop recommendations to pay more federal employees at least $15/hour. 

      ASBO USA


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    3. 4.  RE: Biden Administration Actions - First 10 Days

      Posted 02-05-2021 10:54
      Edited by ASBO USA 02-05-2021 10:55
      The Department of Education issued a summary of President Biden's executive actions impacting education since his first day in office, which may be helpful for school business leaders to keep tabs on major federal actions that could affect district funding/operations.

      "Starting on Day 1 -- with a request to the Acting Secretary on federal student loan payments -- President Biden has approved many executive actions (orders, directives, memoranda, proclamations, etc.).  A number concern schools, students, and families.  Below is a summary of the major education-related actions. 

      Other Department of Education (ED) News:
      ED recently announced "more than $4 billion in emergency aid through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund (state allocation table and fact sheet)", which includes $2.75 billion for the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools program, providing services and assistance for private schools, as authorized under the 5th COVID relief and FY21 appropriations package (Consolidated Appropriations Act [CAA] and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations [CRRSA] Act of 2021). ED already announced more than $54 billion in emergency aid via the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, which was also authorized by the CAA/CRRSA.  

      The Department also released a School Leader Digital Learning Guide, which "provides suggestions on developing a digital learning vision and considering, planning, funding, implementing, and adapting learning programs to best serve and empower students of all abilities" to help education leaders. 

      ASBO USA

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    4. 5.  RE: Biden Administration Actions - First 10 Days

      Posted 01-22-2021 10:01
      Thank you for providing this excellent summary!

      Susan Harkin SFO
      CUSD 300
      Algonquin, IL
      United States

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