February 16, 2021
Congress
  • The House Budget Committee will combine all the pieces of the President Biden’s 1.9 trillion relief plan this week. The chamber is expected to vote on its final version of the American Rescue Plan during the week of February 22.
  • Last week, two House committees advanced key portions of President Biden's COVID-19 relief package. The House Ways and Means Committee advanced an extension of expanded unemployment benefits at $400/week through August 29. Also, the House Education and Labor Committee passed a measure that would gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.
  • The House Oversight and Reform Committee unveiled additional components to its portion of the COVID-19 relief package. The proposal includes $350 billion to help states, localities and tribal governments replenish lost revenue from the pandemic.
  • House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) released legislative proposals comprising portions of Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
  • House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) also released a legislative proposal comprising portions of President Biden's American Rescue Plan.
  • Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen the national response to pandemics by modernizing the production of critical medical supplies for frontline healthcare providers.
  • Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Representatives Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) introduced legislation to restore regulations regarding infection control and emergency preparedness in skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities.
  • Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Todd Young (R-IN) reintroduced bipartisan legislation directing the HHS secretary to award grants to establish a Coronavirus Mental Health and Addiction Assistance Network.
  • Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) introduced the Stronger Medicaid Response to the COVID–19 Pandemic Act.
Administration
  • President Biden announced the Community Health Centers Vaccination Program as well as another increase in the vaccine supply for states, territories and tribes.
  • President Biden announced members of the Administration COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.
  • The IRS announced that a new form is available for eligible self-employed individuals to claim sick and family leave tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • The CDC has released new research encouraging Americans wear two masks -- a cloth mask on top of a disposable surgical mask -- to provide greater protection against the more contagious COVID-19 variants.
  • The Small Business Administration and lenders are taking more strides to improve the Paycheck Protection Program so that small businesses can access much needed PPP funds.
States
  • Track where all 50 states stand on reopening.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released resources to assist states to reopen.
  • CMS has approved over 200 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recent approvals for Alaska, Iowa, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and Virginia.
National Association of Health Underwriters | COVID-19@nahu.org