DC Shuttle …
House Passes Coronavirus Relief Bill. The U.S. House passed $1.9 trillion pandemic relief legislation, the American Rescue Plan Act (HR 1319), by a vote of 219 to 212. The bill would authorize direct payments to households, extend unemployment insurance benefits and provide funding to states and localities, schools, transit systems, restaurants, vaccine distribution and virus testing. The bill is expected to be taken up by the Senate next week, which is expected to make changes including removing a provision to raise the minimum wage to $15 to comply with the Senate’s budget reconciliation rules. The bill includes $130 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund and $40 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. It also includes $39 billion for childcare and $1 billion for Head Start. See what is currently included in the Labor and Education portion of the package here. Higher Ed Dive reports that the bill also contains a change to the 90/10 rule.
Ed Dept Encouraging Use of Expanded SNAP Eligibility for Students. The Education Department issued guidance to postsecondary institutions to inform them about temporarily expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility for students. As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in December, institutions have the authority to adjust financial aid packages to account for students’ and families’ current financial circumstances.
We publish the DC Shuttle each week Congress is in session featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of March 1, 2021. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.