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AANC's Washington Weekly

Published September 15, 2021

American Association of College of Nursing - Washington Weekly - Your Inside Track to Federal Policy

Consideration on Build Back Better Act Continues

Congressional committees are considering and advancing their legislative recommendations as discussion on the broader Build Back Better Act, the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, continues. House committees are working around the clock to try and put forward their pieces of the larger bill before today’s deadline.

AACN is pleased to see that the House Energy and Commerce Committee draft language includes many academic nursing priorities, specifically in Subtitle J, such as:

  • $1 billion for Nursing Education Enhancement and Modernization Grants in Underserved Areas: This language aligns with the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing (FAAN) Act (S.246/H.R.851).

  • $300 million for Nurse Corps Programs: To support scholarship and loan repayment for nurses and nursing students working in underserved areas.

  • $150 million in grants to accredited schools of nursing to grow and diversify the nursing workforce in maternal and perinatal health, among other key provisions from the Momnibus Act (H.R. 959/S.346).

To see the full list of subtitles or to watch the Energy and Commerce Committee markup, click here.

The House Education and Labor Committee’s markup outlined additional investments in higher education, including providing two years of tuition free community college, increasing Pell Grants and additional investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and other Minority-Serving Institutions. For a summary of the House Education and Labor bill, click here. Additional areas of consideration in these and other committees included Medicare expansion, universal paid leave, climate change, and childcare support.

AACN will continue to monitor this ongoing process as these pieces of the Build Back Better Act move through the House and Senate. Please follow @AACNPolicy for the latest updates.

Biden Administration's Pandemic Preparedness Plans

On September 2, President Biden released a Pandemic Preparedness Plan to protect the United States from current and future pandemic threats. The plan focuses on transforming our medical defenses, ensuring situational awareness, strengthening the public health system, building core capabilities, and managing the mission. You can read the full plan here.  

President Biden is also implementing a six-pronged strategy to combat COVID-19 as the Delta variant continues to spread. This plan would work to vaccinate the unvaccinated, further protect the vaccinated, keep schools safely open, increase testing and require masking, protect our economic recovery, and improve care for those with COVID-19.  You can read more about this strategy here.

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