Senate Releases FY 2021 Appropriations

On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, the Senate Appropriations Committee released a full package of 12 appropriations bills nearly a month before the temporary funding for fiscal year 2021 runs out. Last week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had agreed to complete the FY 2021 appropriations with an omnibus

McConnell Signals New Relief Package Before End of Year

In a press conference held the morning after the election, Wednesday, November 4, 2020, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he expected a new relief package would get passed before the end of this year. With some Senate seats still uncertain, McConnell is likely to return as Senate Majority Leader, but that is still

Educating Homeless Students During COVID-19

On Wednesday, October 14, SchoolHouse Connection hosted a Congressional briefing titled “Educating Homeless Children and Youth During COVID-19”. The briefing included several panelists, including Congressmen Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Don Bacon (R-NE). The bipartisan Congressional briefing also featured four local educational agency homeless liaisons experts, John Bright from Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska, Ayesha Buckner

Mixed Signals from President, Clear Signal from Federal Reserve, Next COVID Package?

Last week on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told members of the National Association for Business Economics that there needs to be more stimulus, telling members, “Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.” Shortly after giving a boost to the discussions that

CR Passes Senate

On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, the Senate gave final approval to (HR 8337) a continuing resolution or CR that will keep the government from shutting down at the start of the fiscal year. The CR provides level funding (FY 2020 funding levels) with some slight adjustments to address formulas and some program changes. The CR

House Offers Another COVID-19 Relief Bill

On Thursday, October 1, 2020, the House approved a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill representing a reduction from their $3.2 trillion passed on May 15, 2020, but higher than the general support the White House has said they would support at $1.5 trillion. The House action was against a backdrop of ongoing discussions between the House Democrats

Congress Acts on Continuing Resolution But No COVID-19

Last week, Tuesday, September 22, 2020, the House of Representatives passed (HR 8337) and sent to the Senate a continuing resolution or CR that will keep the government from shutting down at the start of the fiscal year. The Senate leadership has indicated they hope to approve the CR by Tuesday of this week, a

Senators Introduce Bill to Rebuild Child Care Infrastructure

On Thursday, September 24, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced, Rebuilding a Better Child Care Infrastructure Act, a bill to make child care more affordable and accessible for families, as well as helping to rebuild a more robust child care system. The COVID-19

2019 Census Child Poverty Data and What COVID-19 Means for Kids

Earlier this week, First Focus on Children co-hosted a webinar with the Children’s Defense Fund, and the Child Poverty Action Group on the topic of the 2019 Census Data released this month on child poverty. The collection and publication of this data are incredibly useful because they capture families’ socio-economic realities with children. This acts

Mixed Messages on COVID-19 Relief

On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, the House “Problem Solvers Caucus,” a collection of House Democrats and Republicans, released their compromise COVID-19 relief framework. The framework proposes a bill that would total approximately $1.5 trillion with the potential to go higher (or lower) depending on where the economy goes in the next months. Perhaps most significantly, the

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