House Hones American Rescue Plan

By The New England Council

DC Shuttle …

House Moving Forward on Relief Package. Democratic leaders are working to pass the American Rescue Plan Act through the budget reconciliation process. House committees have been working on their areas of jurisdiction, with the full House potentially considering the legislation next week. The House Budget and Rules Committee plans to meet this week to put the pieces together. The House Education and Labor Committee passed legislation with $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. The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday approved a budget reconciliation proposal that would provide $7.6 billion for distance learning. The proposal would establish an Emergency Connectivity Fund to reimburse elementary and high schools for purchases to expand distance learning and would be administered by the Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program.

Senate HELP Holds Hearing on Secretary of Education. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of education, Miguel Cardenas, on Feb. 3 and passed his nomination out of the committee, Politico reports. His nomination next goes to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

Lawmakers Introduce President Biden’s Immigration Proposal. Lawmakers introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act, encompassing Biden’s immigration proposals. The legislation would create a path to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants. The proposal would also increase legal immigration, improve ports of entry and the processing of asylum seekers, and invest $4 billion in the economies of Central American countries to reduce migration. The White House released a fact sheet on the proposal.

Department of Education Appointees. The Biden administration announced two rounds of appointments to positions at the Department of Education, which can be found here and here.

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 Feb. 22, 2021. For more information, please visit:


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