Capitol Correspondence - 06.08.21

What is Congress Doing? Round Up of Infrastructure Plan News and More

Share this page

With Congress largely focused on negotiations over a large surface transportation bill, its actions on issues important to ANCOR members have been more limited this past week. Nonetheless, the following items could help inform our members’ advocacy:

On the jobs and infrastructure package…

  • President Biden has proposed a different way of taxing corporations to pay for his proposed jobs and infrastructure plan. This is prompting the GOP to return to the negotiation table with him even as it is skeptical of its ability to bridge the significant differences between the funding levels he seeks and what Republican Senators are willing to support.
  • Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) initially promising attempt to bend Senate rules to allow for three instead of two reconciliations this year received a fatal blow from the Senate Parliamentarian. This further dims the prospects for the jobs and infrastructure plan.

On general nonprofit COVID-19 relief…

  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the WORK NOW Act, which would create grants to provide emergency relief to nonprofit organizations that provide emergency services related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ANCOR sent Sen. Klobuchar’s office a letter supporting the legislation because of its potential to assist some of our members who are in rural areas and/or help people with disabilities address basic needs.

On strengthening access to health care:

  • “House and Senate Democrats introduce a bill aimed at boosting a doctor education program trained on putting physicians in high-need communities. [The] bill would fund 100 additional programs and produce roughly 1,600 new slots for doctors to serve communities of color, rural areas and other high-need communities,” Politico Pulse reports. Many of our members in rural areas have shared with us that physician shortages in rural areas affects the well-being of individuals with disabilities.
  • “Two dozen House lawmakers are pressuring [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] to share more details about the work of its Innovation Center [CMMI], arguing that the decision-making around its sweeping demonstration projects is too opaque. The bipartisan group in a letter to CMMI chief Liz Fowler criticized the center’s metrics for judging the success of its health initiatives,” Politico Pulse reports. ANCOR monitors CMMI because some of its demonstration projects focus on shifting from fee-for-service models to value-based payment models, a conversation which is getting increasing traction in Medicaid-funded disability programs.