legislative news and current legislation
SSWAA Call to Action
The Coronavirus is impacting every facet of our lives and as you know, unfortunately it will likely have the biggest impact on our children. Congress has passed several bills providing assistance to individuals and businesses and is currently working on a new legislative package. SSWAA has written to Congressional leadership asking for additional funding to help students and their families. In this letter we ask that Congress provide funding for meals, personal protective equipment, technology and broadband, and to help mitigate the impact on school budgets. Please call your legislators and ask that they support this request in the next Coronavirus stimulus package.
Click on the icon to view the SSWAA Funding Request (updated April 2020)
Congressional Update (June 2020)
State of Play
Washington DC is currently consumed with how to deal with the public anger over the killing of George Floyd and the broader conversation about policing that has emerged as a result. Additionally, COVID-19 continues to impact parts of the countries with infection and hospitalization numbers going up in a number of states.
Democrats have released a police reform bill that serves as their opening move in the policing conversation. Several Republican legislators have also indicated that they are working on pieces of legislation that address the issue. In a sign of potential bipartisanship, Republican leadership in the House has come out in favor of some of the provisions in the Democrat’s bill but has not yet committed to voting for the legislation.
House Democrats are moving on to other legislative priorities after passing the HEROES Act. Leadership has released a voting schedule that does not deal with additional stimulus bills until the Senate either takes up the HEROES Act or introduces its own COVID-19 response bill, they will be focusing on appropriations, surface transportation, passing their police reform bill. One potential stat that could have added pressure on Senate Republicans to act was the jobs report that came out last week. However, the unexpected reduction in the unemployment number, has led leadership to stick to its wait-and-see posture and at this point they do not expect to begin work on another stimulus package until late July.
What We Know About the Next Stimulus Package
Senate Republicans have not made public a framework of what they want to include in the next stimulus package, but we do have some hints. One issue that is being discussed is additional tax breaks. One proposal that might have bipartisan support is an expanding the job-retention tax credit that lawmakers created in March, making more employers eligible and credit more generous. However, the White House seems to prefer giving a weekly bonus to workers who return to their jobs, but how that would work is not clear yet. Another issue is protecting businesses and schools from COVID-19 related liability. Democrats have widely panned this proposal, but Senate GOP leadership has been very consistent that this is a red line issue and they see any future stimulus package as having some form of this liability protection included.
SSWAA in Action
SSWAA is a member of a number of coalitions that are active on the Hill and regularly engage the Department on issues that are a priority to our membership. Below you can view recent coalition letters that SSWAA has signed on to and press releases introducing bills that we support.