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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published December 09, 2020

Congress Proposes Compromise COVID-19 Legislative Relief Package

On December 1, a bipartisan group of Senators and members of Representatives from the House Problem Solvers Caucus unveiled a compromise COVID-19 legislative relief package estimated to cost $908 billion, with further updates as of today:

  • $160 billion for state, local, and tribal governments;

  • $300 per week in supplemental unemployment insurance benefits;
  • $6 billion for vaccine development and distribution;
  • $10 billion for testing and tracing;
  • $35 billion for the healthcare Provider Relief Fund;
  • $82 billion for education;
  • $10 billion for broadband; and
  • Extension of student loan forbearance through April 30, 2021 among many other items.

This COVID-19 framework has spurred optimism in finding common ground and has even caused a surprise re-entry of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin into talks with a $916 billion proposal.

Prior to the announcement of this relief package, AACN sent a letter to Congressional Leadership reinforcing our shared COVID-19 legislative priorities.

Help us keep the message going. Take action by urging your Representative and Senators to include our shared COVID-19 and FY 2021 priorities in the next legislative package. Click here to send your Members of Congress a message today! Thank you for your advocacy as we make one last push this Congress to support and pass these essential programs and policies.

AACN will continue to monitor these negotiations, as well as Congress’ work to pass a one-week stop gap measure to provide extra time to consider a final fiscal year 2021 omnibus. To stay up-to-date, please visit AACN’s Policy and Advocacy webpage and be sure to follow @AACNPolicy on Twitter.

Secretary Betsy DeVos Extends Student Loan Relief Through January 2021

On December 4, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos extended the federal student loan forbearance period, the pause in interest accrual, and the suspension of collections activity until January 31, 2021. According to the Education Department, borrowers will not be expected to make payments through January but will continue to be able to do so and benefit from the 0% interest rate as they pay down principal. Secretary DeVos, in her announcement, stated “the coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges for many students and borrowers, and this temporary pause in payments will help those who have been impacted,” adding that the added time allows “Congress to do its job and determine what measures it believes are necessary and appropriate.” To read the full statement, click here.

SAVE THE DATE: 2021 Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program Opens in January 2021

The next Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (Nurse Corps LRP) application cycle is expected to open in January 2021. To read more about the program and eligibility, click here.

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