Prevention Institute advocates for policies and structural changes that bolster health, safety, and wellbeing through thriving, equitable communities. We hold racial justice and health equity at the heart of all our efforts. As we have worked with communities around the country,* we have come to recognize a set of core stabilizing elements that we call the Pillars of Wellbeing. Both because they have been under attack and because they are essential for people and for communities to flourish, our policy priorities are informed by, and emphasize them. They are:

  • Belonging and connectedness: being accepted, having a place, feeling part of something
  • Safety: the experience of security and stability at the interpersonal, emotional, and community level
  • Dignity: the experience of having worth/value; living in a climate of mutual respect and regard
  • Trust: the ability to rely on the wider community, government, and public institutions 
  • Hope and aspiration: the belief that progress is possible
  • Control of destiny and self-determination: the ability to take action and lead change

Learn more about our policy prioritiesincluding our priorities for the Biden-Harris administration and the 117th Congress—advocacy actions, and updates on key federal policy issues.

*These were identified by community organizations and coalitions participating in the Making Connections initiative through their local community planning processes.

COVID-19 Federal Actions and Other Policy Updates

April 15, 2021

The House Judiciary Committee voted to bring H.R. 40 out of committee. This is the first time since 1989 that H.R. 40—which would create a commission on reparations for slavery—has made it past a committee vote despite its introduction in every Congress.

April 9, 2021

The Biden-Harris Administration  released a summary of the President’s discretionary funding request for FY 2022. The discretionary request proposes $769 billion in non-defense discretionary funding in FY 2022, a 16 percent increase over the FY 2021 enacted level, and $753 billion for national defense programs, a 1.7 percent increase. The President’s forthcoming Budget will include major, complementary mandatory investments and tax reforms. Here some initial details (with more to come next week) and PI’s preliminary analysis where applicable:

  • Provides $8.7 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—the largest budget authority increase in nearly two decades—to restore capacity at the world’s preeminent public health agency. (Note the $8.7 B for CDC is only discretionary funding and does not include any money that will be directed to CDC from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Historically, the vast majority of PPHF dollars has been directed to CDC programs. In FY 2022 PPHF is at $1 billion.) See here for the current CDC ask from public health advocates.)
  • Prioritizes Mental Health. Provides $1.6 billion, more than double the 2021 enacted level, for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, and additional funding to support the needs of those who are involved in the criminal justice system, resources to partner mental health providers with law enforcement, and funds to expand suicide prevention activities.
  • Addresses the Public Health Epidemic of Gun Violence in America. Doubles funding for firearm violence prevention research at CDC and NIH (to $50 million) and includes $100 million for CDC to start a new Community-Based Violence Intervention initiative—in collaboration with Department of Justice—to implement evidence-based community violence interventions locally. (PI analysis: the doubling of funding for firearm prevention research at CDC and NIH is aligned with requests from advocates)  
  • Promotes Health Equity by Addressing Racial Disparities. Provides additional funding to increase the diversity of the healthcare workforce and expand access to culturally competent care. The discretionary request also includes $153 million for CDC’s Social Determinants of Health program, an increase of $150 million over the 2021 enacted level, to support all States and Territories in improving health equity and data collection for racial and ethnic populations. (PI analysis: the request of $153 million is even higher than that requested by advocates).
  • Supports Survivors of Domestic and Gender Based-Violence. Includes $489 million to support domestic violence survivors—more than double the 2021 enacted level. This provides additional funding for domestic violence hotlines, cash assistance, and medical support and services.
  • Provides Funding to Reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate and End Race-Based Disparities in Maternal Mortality. Includes more than $200 million to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates nationwide, bolster Maternal Mortality Review Committees, expand the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies program, help cities place early childhood development experts in pediatrician offices with a high percentage of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program patients, implement implicit bias training for healthcare providers, and create State pregnancy medical home programs.
  • Supports Research to Understand Disparate Health Impacts of Climate Change. Includes $110 million for NIH’s Climate Change and Human Health program, a $100 million increase over the 2021 enacted level, to support research aimed at understanding the health impacts of climate change. In addition, the discretionary request includes $110 million for CDC’s Climate and Health program, a $100 million increase over the 2021 enacted level, to identify potential health effects associated with climate change and implement health adaptation plans.
  • Advances the Goal of Ending the Opioid Crisis. Provides a historic investment of $10.7 billion, an increase of $3.9 billion over the 2021 enacted level, to help end the opioid crisis, including funding for States and 12 Tribes, medication-assisted treatment, research, and expanding the behavioral health provider workforce.

April 8, 2021

President Biden announced actions his administration will undertake to address and prevent gun violence. The Justice Department will issue proposed rules to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns,” properly regulate stabilizing braces that can make guns more deadly, and publish model “red-flag law” policy language for states to adopt, as well as reporting on gun trafficking. The Biden-Harris administration is also proposing investments in community-based violence prevention through the American Jobs Act. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said this week that based on the input from the Senate Parliamentarian, the Senate could  revise the previous budget-reconciliation bill (used to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) to pass the American Jobs Plan. Taking this option would mean an additional two chances to use the budget reconciliation process (in FY22 and FY23).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declared racism to be a serious public health threat, highlighting several new efforts that CDC and a new website--Racism and Health—that CDC will lead to accelerate its work to address racism as a fundamental driver of racial and ethnic health inequities

 

March 31, 2021

The Biden-Harris administration announced the details of their American Jobs Plan which would invest in and rebuild the country’s physical, environmental, economic, and human infrastructure with a core focus on racial equity. Under the administration’s proposal, the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan proposes investments over the next 8 years that would be paid for by raising the corporate tax rate. The plan calls on Congress to make investments that:

Revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and workforce development for well-paying jobs of the future. The workforce development investments include an emphasis on creating job opportunities for communities and workers that experience structural racism and persistent economic inequities—including a historic $5 billion investment over eight years in support of evidence-based community violence prevention programs.

Deliver clean drinking water and eliminate all lead pipes and services lines;  renew the electric grid, and bring affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to all Americans.

Build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings, modernize schools and child care facilities, and upgrade veterans’ hospitals and federal buildings. This would include building and rehabilitating more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income homebuyers; and eliminating exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies. 

Solidify the infrastructure of the care economy through a $400 billion investment in creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers, the majority of whom are women of color that have been underpaid for far too long.

Fix highways, rebuild bridges, upgrade ports, airports and transit systems. This includes redressing historic inequities by including $20 billion for a new program that will reconnect neighborhoods cut off by previous infrastructure investments and ensuring new projects increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access. The plan also targets investments to support infrastructure in those communities most vulnerable physically and financially to climate-driven disasters and to build back above existing codes and standards.

Create good-quality jobs that pay prevailing wages in safe and healthy workplaces while ensuring workers have a free and fair choice to organize, join a union, and bargain collectively with their employers. 

 

March 29, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the federal eviction through June 30.

March 24, 2021

The Senate Rules Committee held a hearing on S.1, the "For The People Act”, the companion to H.R. 1 that passed the House on March 3rd. The For the People Act seeks to expand Americans' access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying democracy.

March 23,  2021

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on solutions to gun violence. Senate Leader Schumer has not yet specified when the Senate will consider the House-passed background checks bills (see March 11th).

The Senate confirmed several key members of the Biden-Harris administration’s health team: Xavier Becerra was confirmed as secretary of health on March 18th; Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed for a second stint as Surgeon General on March 23rd; and Dr. Rachel Levine was confirmed as assistant secretary of health on March 24th, becoming the first openly transgender federal health official confirmed by the Senate.

March 18, 2021

The House passed two focused immigration bills: H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, providing a pathway to citizenship for dreamers; and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which provides routes to citizenship for farm workers. Click [Passage%20of%20Immigration%20Bills%20in%20the%20House%20a%20Win,%20Senate%20Must%20Make%20Dreams%20A%20Reality%20|%20CLASP]here for a statement on the significance of these bills from CLASP.  

March 17, 2021

Rep Pramila Jayapal (D, WA-07) introduced H.R. 1976 to establish an Improved Medicare for All national health insurance program.

March 15, 2021

The Senate confirmed Rep Deb Haaland to lead the Interior Department. Secretary Haaland is the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet secretary.

March 11, 2021

The House passed a pair of background check bills for firearm purchases: H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, seeks to close the “Charleston Loophole” by extending the initial background check review period from three days to “not fewer than 10 business days.” H.R. 8, The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, seeks to expand federal gun background checks to every firearm sale.

American Rescue Plan: President Biden signed the $1.9-trillion COVID response bill into law this week. In addition to COVID response funding for states and localities, the American Rescue Plan makes a significant federal investment in addressing child poverty by expanding child tax credits for one year -- a form of guaranteed income for families with children. If this child tax credit becomes permanent, researchers at Columbia University's Center on Poverty and Social Policy project that child poverty could be cut in half. The bill also extends unemployment benefits, provides assistance with housing and utility costs, provides resources for education, funds vaccine distribution, and distributes stimulus payments. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that COVID-19 contributed to a 15% increase in deaths in 2020, the third-leading cause of death.

Changes to public charge rules introduced by the Trump administration -- which would have prevented many immigrants from accessing public benefits like healthcare and food assistance for fear of harming their immigration status -- have been permanently blocked nationwide, with public charge policies reverting to the 1999 guidance that counted only direct cash assistance. 

March 10, 2021

Senator Murray re-introduced the Public Health Infrastructure Saves Lives Act  (S. 674) which would establish a Core Public Health Infrastructure Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, awarding grants to state, local, tribal and territorial health departments to ensure they have the tools, workforce and systems in place to address existing and emerging health threats and reduce health disparities.

March 8, 2021

The Senate passed the Biden-Harris administration’s COVID relief package, H.R. 1319: American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, on Saturday March 6th. The bill now heads back to the House for final approval on Tuesday March 9th before heading to the President’s desk for signature. The $1.9 trillion package includes:

  • $1,400 stimulus checks for individuals earning under $75,000 or married couples earning under $150,000. $1,400 stimulus checks per dependent  are also provided for qualifying families. The benefits are phased out entirely for individuals earning $80,000 and married couples earning $160,000. The Senate’s stimulus check eligibility requirements are stricter than those that passed the House last week.
  • A continuation of the $300-per-week increase to unemployment benefits through September 6th. This represents a compromise from the $400-per-week increase through August that was approved by the House. The package also waives federal income taxes for the first $10,200 in 2020 unemployment benefits for households earning under $150,000.
  • A more generous child tax credit of as much $3,600 for children up to 5 and as much as $3,000 for children 6-17. Families that were previously ineligible or only received a portion of the current child tax credit due to insufficient income will now receive the full value of the credit. In the second half of 2021, families will receive advanced payments of this credit in periodic installments rather than having to wait until tax filing season.
  • Exemption of student loan forgiveness from income taxes through 2025.
  • Expansion of the earned-income tax credit for workers without children for 2021.
  • $350 billion for states, local governments, territories and tribal governments. $130 billion for schools.
  • A temporary increase to Affordable Care Act subsidies; coverage of the full cost of COBRA premiums through September to allow those who have lost jobs to keep their employer based health insurance coverage.
  • The Senate package does not include the $15/hr federal minimum wage increase that passed the House version of the bill. Senator Sander’s amendment to add the minimum wage increase back to the Senate package failed.

 

·       H.R. 1: For the People Act of 2021, passed the House on Wednesday March 3rd and now heads to the Senate. H.R. 1 would “expand Americans' access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy.”

February 26, 2021

The House of Representatives is expected to pass President Biden’s $1.9-trillion COVID relief package on Friday. The House version of the relief package includes the minimum-wage hike, $1400 stimulus checks, supplemental unemployment benefits, and increase in the Child Tax Credit, and aid to states for testing and vaccination campaigns. The bill is expected to undergo further revisions in the Senate, in particular after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the minimum-wage increase violates the Senate’s budget reconciliation rules. The goal is to pass the relief package by March 14th when jobless benefits expire.

The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act on Thursday which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to provide protections for LGBTQ individuals.   

February 12, 2021

The Biden administration announced the members of its COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. 
The Biden administration withdrew the Department of Justice’s support for an ongoing challenge to the Affordable Care Act that was heard by the Supreme Court last fall.  

February 5, 2021

The Senate approved a budget resolution to advance President Biden's $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief bill.

February 4, 2021

On Tuesday, President Biden signed an immigration executive order requiring the Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security to review public charge rules developed by the previous administration, including evaluating the effects of the current public charge rules on immigrants, and proposing changes within 60 days. This is the start of a longer process to reverse the public charge rule and address the damage it has caused for immigrant families.

The House adopted a FY21 budget resolution to allow the budget reconciliation process to pass President Biden’s $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief package with a simple majority vote. 

January 29, 2021

President Biden signed executive orders this week directing the Department of Justice not to renew contracts with private prisons, ordering a reassessment of a Trump administration policy that would have made it harder for plaintiffs to prove discrimination in housing, and acknowledging the role of the federal government in residential segregation. Biden also signed executive orders pertaining to climate change and environmental justice, including clean infrastructure projects, review of Trump administration changes to environmental policies, and reinstating the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. 

Democrats in the Senate and House are preparing to act on President Biden's $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief plan as soon as next week, with plans to introduce a budget resolution as early as Monday. 

January 21, 2021: 

The US rejoined the Paris Climate Accord and World Health Organization this week, following Biden’s inauguration. Other executive orders include reversing some of the previous administration’s attempts to loosen environmental regulations, extending a federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through March 31, including noncitizens in the US Census count to ensure a full and fair count, pausing student loan payments, lifting the previous administration’s restrictions on diversity trainings, and passing executive orders on immigration enforcement and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, including an executive order calling on Congress to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  

January 15, 2021:

President-elect Biden announced a $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan that includes investing in a national vaccination program, mobilizing 100,000 public health workers to fill community health roles during the pandemic and beyond, expanding paid sick leave, safely reopening K-8 schools, sending $1,400 checks to individuals, providing direct assistance for food and housing, extending unemployment insurance and support for small businesses, protecting the jobs of public employees like transit workers, and shoring up federal information technology infrastructure and security. More information can be found here.

December 22, 2020: 

A $1.4 trillion fiscal year 2021 appropriations omnibus to fund the government through September 30th 2021 and a $900 billion COVID relief bill have passed Congress. Here are initial highlights. The omnibus includes: $7,819,446,000 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), representing a $125 million increase over the FY 2020 comparable level. CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program will receive a $3 million increase over FY20; the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control will receive more than $5.5 million in new funding.  The bipartisan COVID relief compromise includes—

$166 billion for a new round of direct payments of up to $600 per adult and child for earners making up to $75,000 (or $1,200 for couples earning up to $150,000) with greater accessibility for 3.5 million people mixed-status families (the bill also restores eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP for Pacific Islanders living in the US under COFA;

$120 billion in enhanced federal unemployment benefits of $300 per week through March 14, 2021;

an extension of the eviction moratorium issued by the CDC through January 31, 2021;

an increase in SNAP and child nutrition benefits;

An extension through the end of March 2021 of  emergency paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave programs

$4.25 billion to provide increased mental health and substance abuse services and support;

$8.75 billion to the CDC “to support federal, state, local, territorial and tribal public health agencies to distribute, administer, monitor, and track coronavirus vaccination to ensure broad-based distribution, access, and vaccine coverage."

December 11, 2020: The Senate approved a one-week funding bill to avert a government shutdown, while talks continue. 

December 4, 2020: A bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill is gaining support on Capitol Hill. The bill would invest $908 billion in aid for state and local governments, federal unemployment benefits, child care, food assistance, vaccine distribution, and support for small businesses. There is growing agreement between the House and the Senate that COVID relief should be attached to the must-pass omnibus spending package. Government funding runs out on December 11, making it likely that Congress will first have to pass a temporary stopgap spending bill as they continue to negotiate omnibus and COVID relief details.

This week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an order blocking "public charge" rules from going into effect in the multistate coalition challenging the rule change (California, Maine, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia) and states involved in ongoing legal challenges to public charge that are before the 9th Circuit (Washington state).

November 3, 2020: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an administrative stay of the November 2 Northern District of Illinois decision.

November 2, 2020: A federal judge from the Northern District of Illinois ruled this week that the administration cannot implement public charge rules that would deny green cards to immigrants who've used public assistance.  

October 19, 2020: A federal judge struck down an administrative rule that would have implemented stricter work requirements on millions of able-bodied adults without dependents who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. 

October 16, 2020: The Supreme Court ruled that the 2020 Census count could be halted ahead of schedule, with data collection stopping on October 15. 

September 22, 2020: In a bipartisan vote, the US House of Representatives voted to fund the federal government through mid-December, which would avert a government shutdown. This continuing resolution would extend the pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program for all families whose children are not receiving school meals, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and renew assistance for childcare programs, community health centers, emergency public health and transportation funding, and aid for farmers. 

September 1, 2020--The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a temporary ban on evictions when renters are unable to cover rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

August 19, 2020--A United States District Court judge blocked the rollback of a rule affecting healthcare for transgender people, arguing that the rule appears to be incompatible with a recent Supreme Court decision barring discrimination against transgender people in employment.

August 17, 2020--A 2nd Circuit judge narrowed a nationwide injunction on the Department of Homeland Security's public charge to apply only within the 2nd Circuit's jurisdiction (New York, Connecticut, and Vermont). 

August 5, 2020--Senators Tina Smith and Chris Murphy introduced the Senate version of the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act 2020. Learn more about this legislation here.

July 31, 2020--The US House passed a $1.3 trillion FY21 spending package that includes funding for Commerce-Justice-Science, Defense, Energy-Water, Financial Services, Labor-HHS-Education and Transportation-HUD. The package also includes emergency funding for public health departments, infrastructure programs, housing, and other priority issues. The bill is not expected to be taken up by the Senate.

July 29, 2020--The District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a new temporary injunction against the DHS Public Charge rule that blocks the rule from being implemented as long as the US is under a national emergency for COVID-19.

July 24, 2020--The Department of Housing and Urban Development repealed the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule and replaced it with a weaker rule that loosens requirements on jurisdictions to promote access to fair housing. 

A 120-day moratorium on evictions, passed as part of the CARES Act in March, expires today. This expiration puts approximately 12 million US adults at risk of eviction in coming weeks. 

Senate Republicans are expected to release their version of COVID-19 relief bill on Monday, following negotiations with the White House.

July 21, 2020—President Trump signed a memo directing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross not to count undocumented immigrants in the 2020 US Census, a move that will affect political representation, funding, and data collection.

July 15, 2020—The House Appropriations Committee has sent all 12 of their FY21 funding bills to the floor with the goal of approving almost all of the bills by the end of the month before August recess. Timing in the Senate is still unclear and a continuing resolution is anticipated in the meantime.

June 26, 2020—The House of Representatives passed a police reform bill that would ban the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants, make it easier to prosecute law enforcement officers who injure or kill civilians, and devise a better system for tracking police misconduct. The Senate is unlikely to take up the reform bill. 

June 18, 2020—In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court found the administration does not have a sound legal basis to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in which approximately 650,000 young immigrants are enrolled.

May 18, 2020—The House passed the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion relief package that would provide financial aid to state and local governments, renters, food assistance programs, and more. The Senate is not expected to consider the bill.

May 12, 2020—House Democrats are expected to vote on Friday on the Heroes Act, a $3 trillion spending package that would include $875 billion for state and local governments facing budget deficits; $20 billion for tribal nations and US territories; $25 billion for the US Postal Service; $100 billion in rental assistance and $75 billion in mortgage relief; stimulus checks for individuals; and funding for small businesses. 

April 24, 2020—President Trump signed the latest stimulus package into law. This allocates $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, $75 billion for hospitals and health systems, and $25 billion to expand COVID-19 testing. 

April 23, 2020—The House approved $484 billion in relief funding for hospitals, testing, and small business loans. 

April 22, 2020—The new relief package with funding for hospitals, testing, and small business loans has passed the Senate and is expected to pass the House on Thursday. 

April 21, 2020—Congressional leaders have reached a deal with the White House on a $484 billion relief package that would increase funding for hospitals, testing, and the small business loan program. The Senate is expected to pass the bill on Tuesday.

April 16, 2020—California governor Gavin Newsom announced a $125 million plan to provide disaster relief funds to undocumented Californians. 

April 15, 2020—A federal court struck down the US Department of Agriculture's 2018 school meal rule change that rolled back nutrition standards for sodium, whole grains, and dairy products.

April 2, 2020—House speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of a new select committee to oversee the COVID-19 response and use of stimulus funds. 

April 1, 2020—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shared details about a five-year $750 billion infrastructure investment plan, modified from an earlier proposal released in January to include $10 billion in funding for community health clinics.

March 31, 2020—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are considering recommending that Americans wear masks in public to limit transmission of COVID-19.

March 29, 2020—President Trump extended physical distancing guidelines through April 30. 

March 27, 2020—President Trump signed the $2 trillion bipartisan emergency spending bill (described in detail below) this afternoon. 

March 26, 2020—After days of negotiations the Senate has passed a $2 trillion bipartisan deal as part of phase 3 of the federal coronavirus response. The House will take up the bill on Friday morning, March 27th. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (S. 3548) provides emergency healthcare and economic assistance for individuals, families, small businesses, and impacted industries, including:

  • $4.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support federal, state, and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus, including:
    • $1.5 billion to support States, locals, territories, and tribes in their efforts to conduct public health activities
    • $1.5 billion in flexible funding to support CDC’s continuing efforts to contain and combat the virus;
    • $500 million for global disease detection and emergency response;
    • $500 million for public health data surveillance and analytics infrastructure modernization; and
    • $300 million for the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which supports immediate response activities during outbreaks.

Workers, individuals, and family provisions:

  • Provides recovery checks of $1,200 for individuals earning up to $75,000 a year ($2,400 for joint returns with earnings up to $150,000) and $500 per child. Amounts gradually phase out for those earning up to $99,000 ($198,000 for joint returns)
  • Reforms and expands unemployment insurance, increasing maximum unemployment benefits by $600 per week and extending unemployment insurance at full pay from three months to four months. Ensures that workers, including those who work for small businesses or are self-employed and gig-economy workers, will be covered.
  • Incentivizes employers to keep workers on payroll by adding a retention tax credit.
  • Provides income tax exclusion for people who receive student loan repayment assistance from an employer.

State and community provisions:

  • Provides the following amounts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus: $30 billion in emergency education funding; $25 billion in emergency transit funding; $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund, which funds state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and nonprofits that provide critical disaster relief services; and $150 billion for a state, tribal, and local Coronavirus Relief fund.

Healthcare provisions:

  • Provides $100 billion in funding for hospitals and health systems, and more than $10 billion for the Indian Health Service.  

Small business provisions:

  • Provides $10 billion in Small Business Administration emergency grants (up to $10,000) to address small business operating costs, and provides $17 billion for the Small Business Administration to cover existing SBA loans for six months.

Industry provisions:

  • Provides $500 billion in loans to impacts industries and ensures oversight, including establishing worker protections to accompany all federal loans for large employers; prohibiting businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Congress members, or Cabinet members from receiving Treasury Department loans or investments; banning stock buybacks; requiring real-time public reporting of Treasury Department transactions under the Act; and creating a Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery position and Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to provide oversight of Treasury Department loans. 

     

March 23, 2020—Procedural votes on the third phase of the COVID-19 response have failed in the US Senate, as of Monday evening, over differences in how to approach economic relief for individuals and families, and impacted industries. Democrats want more restrictions on how funds can be used by impacted industries and greater direct benefit for workers, and want greater aid and expansions in relief efforts, including access to paid sick leave, for individuals and families. Negotiations are ongoing. In the meantime, the House is putting forward their own COVID-19 response package. 

March 19, 2020—Negotiations are currently underway on a Phase 3 economic relief package that seeks to inject over $1 trillion for industries and individuals. Proposals to date by the administration and both parties of Congress include: issuing two direct payments to Americans starting April 6; stimulus funding to impacted industries including airlines with requests by Democrats that those funds be targeted at workers and not for stock buy-backs or executive compensation; and efforts to further expand paid leave benefits for those that are not covered under Families First. 

March 18, 2020— As Phase 2 of the federal response, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) into law. The bill provides over $100 billion in paid sick leave for a segment of workers; mandates free diagnostic testing for the coronavirus; $ 1 billion to expand food assistance programs; expands unemployment benefits; and requires additional protections for healthcare workers. Here are some more details:

  • Provides an additional $500 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Provides an additional $400 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
  • Provides an additional $100 million for nutrition assistance grants for U.S. territories
  • $250 million in supplemental funding for nutrition programs that assist the elderly
  • Allows nationwide school meal program waivers
  • Suspends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) work requirements
  • Allows states to request waivers to provide emergency SNAP benefits
  • Require employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide 2 weeks of paid sick leave to employees (with further exemptions for businesses with fewer than 50 people if providing such leave jeopardizes the viability of the business)
  • Establishes a federal emergency paid leave benefits program of 12 weeks for businesses with fewer than 500 employees for employees taking unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak
  • Expands unemployment benefits and provide grants to states for processing and paying claims 

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent a request to Congress for an additional $46 billion in emergency supplemental funding for federal agencies to combat the coronavirus outbreak, including:

  • $8.3 billion for emergency response efforts through the Department of Defense
  • $16.6 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • $11.5 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services
  • $3.2 billion for Homeland Security
  • $2 billion for FEMA’s disaster relief account
  • $3 billion for a new “unanticipated needs” account for OMB
  • $100 million to help schools respond to the outbreak
  • $400 million for homelessness assistance grants through HUD

OMB also requested to amend their FY21 Budget requests for front-line health agencies:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The amendment requests a total FY 2021 funding level of $8,329,102,000 for CDC, which is $1,328,196,000 above the original FY 2021 Budget request.
  • National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID): The amendment would increase the NIAID total funding level within the NIH to $5,885,470,000, which is $439,584,000 above the original FY 2021 Budget request.

March 13, 2020 - President Trump declared a national emergency in response to COVID-19 to increase the powers of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This allows HHS to waive certain requirements and bypass regulations in an effort to speed up the healthcare sectors ability to respond.

March 6, 2020 - As Phase 1 of the federal response, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 6074) into law. This $8.3 billion emergency supplemental measure triggered the flow of cash to federal agencies and states working to combat a rising number of coronavirus cases in the U.S.

Other notable federal actions
The Public Charge Rule will not count towards COVID-19 testing, screening or treatment--USCIS Alert.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will focus its arrests and detention efforts on “public safety risks” and use alternatives to detention.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will suspend foreclosures and evictions for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration until the end of April. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also been ordered to suspend foreclosures and evictions for “at least 60 days”

January 31, 2020

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that they will begin implementing the "public charge" rule on February 24 (with an exception for the state of Illinois, where the rule change remains blocked by federal court). 

January 27, 2020

  • The Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Homeland Security can move forward with a "public charge" rule to make it harder for immigrants who seek public assistance to gain legal status, while legal challenges to public charge continue. 
     

January 24, 2020

  • The public health emergency declaration for the opioid crisis lapsed for nine days, after the Department of Health and Human Services failed to renew it on time.
     
  • The US Supreme Court declined to hear a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act ahead of the 2020 election. Politico reports that a “coalition of blue states and the House of Representatives, which are defending the Affordable Care Act in the lawsuit, had pressed the high court to intervene after a federal appeals court last month refused to rule on the law’s constitutionality and sent the case back to a federal judge in Texas who had earlier issued a ruling knocking out the entire law.”
     
  • The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule change removing around half of US streams and wetlands from federal oversight, potentially exposing these water sources to pollution.
     
  • The US Department of Agriculture announced two new rules last week that will undermine school nutrition policies championed by Michelle Obama, including loosening requirements to serve fresh fruits and vegetables. 
     
  • The administration is finalizing a plan that would let states convert a portion of Medicaid funding into block grants, a controversial proposal that critics warn would make it easier for states to cut aid to Medicaid recipients.
     

January 10, 2020

  • This week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied the administration’s motion to allowthe public charge rules changes to go into effect while appeals move through the court system. That means the revised public charge rule remains under a nationwide injunction.
     
  • The administration introduced drastic changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, a 50-year-old law that requires construction projects that will have a significant impact on the environment to undergo an environmental impact review. The administration’s proposed changes would exempt many construction projects from this review and impose tight time constraints on the environmental impact review process. 

 

December 20, 2019

The House and Senate have finally agreed upon and passed a $1.4 trillion FY2020 budget. The President is expected to sign the spending deal on Friday, December 20th before government funding runs out. Highlights include: 

  • The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Program (REACH) gets an extra $4 million for additional awards. 
  • The tobacco purchasing age has been raised to 21 (including for e-cigarettes).
  • For the first time in 20 years, there will be $25 million in funding for gun violence prevention research, evenly split between CDC and NIH
  • The Prevention Fund ($893,950,000) gets an increase of $49,750,000 over FY19
  • There will be $4 million for adverse childhood experiences to inform how adverse childhood experiences increase the risk of future substance use disorders, suicide, mental health conditions, and other chronic illnesses.  
     
  • While several courts issued nationwide or state specific preliminary injunctions barring the public charge rule from taking effect on October 15th, only two nationwide injunctions issued by a New York district court remain in effect. Currently, the Second Circuit Court is deciding on the Administration’s appeal to lift those injunctions and will hold a hearing on Tuesday, January 7th, 2020. If they deny the government’s request, the nationwide injunction stands and the public charge rule remains blocked. In this scenario, the Trump administration is likely to ask the Supreme Court to lift the injunctions. If the Second Circuit instead lifts the preliminary injunction, the public charge rule will take effect (either immediately, or at a future effective date.)
     
  • This week, a federal appeals court struck down the ACA’s individual mandate, finding it to be unconstitutional. Since the federal appeals court did not rule on the point of the overall constitutionality of the ACA yesterday, the case now gets remanded to the Texas district court judge. A coalition of Democratic attorneys general, lead by California AG Xavier Becerra, plan to appeal directly to the US Supreme Court. 

 

December 4, 2019

  • The US Department of Agriculture finalized a new rule that will result in nearly 755,000 people losing access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The change blocks able-bodied adults without children from receiving food assistance for more than three months in any three-year period, unless they are engaged in at least 20 hours per week of approved employment activities. Read our comment letter opposing this change here

November 22, 2019

  • On November 21, Congress passed and President Trump signed a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 20.
     
  • The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved a package of tobacco control legislation, sponsored by representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Donna Shalala (D-FL) that would ban most flavored tobacco products (including e-cigarette cartridges), raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21, and ban online sales of nicotine products.

 

October 11, 2019

  • A federal judge blocked the implementation of a new "public charge" policy that would have denied legal residency to immigrants deemed likely to rely on public welfare. The policy change was scheduled to go into effect on October 15. 
     

September 27, 2019

  • Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) introduced legislation that would provide $75 million for five years to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research factors that contribute to gun violence and ways to predict and intervene to prevent violence.
     
  • Both houses of Congress have approved a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through mid-November, likely averting a government shutdown. President Trump is expected to sign the continuing resolution.
     

September 20, 2019

  • Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Karen Bass (D-CA), Joaquin Castro (D-Tx), Judy Chu (D-CA),  Tom Cole (R-Ok), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Robin Kelly (D-IL) introduced a resolution to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program.
     
  • The House passed a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through November 21. The Senate is expected to pass this resolution next week. 
     
  • California and 23 other states sued the administration after the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency moved this week to jointly revoke a legal waiver that enables the state of California to set stricter standards for greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle tailpipes. 

September 13, 2019

  • The Senate Appropriations Committee postponed a scheduled markup of the Fiscal Year 2020 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill due to disagreements about Title X family planning rule and money for the border wall. The markup date has not yet been rescheduled. Senate appropriators also approved all 12 subcommittee allocations today, in preparation to enter negotiations with the House. 
     
  • Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family have tentatively reached a $10-12 billion settlement agreement with thousands of municipal, tribal, and state governments over the company’s role in the opioid epidemic. 
     
  • This week, President Trump said the Food and Drug Administration  will propose banning thousands of e-cigarette flavors from the market.  

 

August 23, 2019

  • The Department of Homeland Security announced a new rule to enable the government to indefinitely detain migrant families who cross the border without documentation. This rule would replace the 22-year-old Flores Agreement that limits the amount of time the government can detain children and sets standards for children's care while in federal custody. The rule also eliminates the requirement that states license and monitor federal immigration detention centers. The rule will be published in the federal register on Friday, August 23, and is expected to go into effect 60 days later.California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will join other states in filing a legal challenge. 

 

August 16, 2019

  • This week, the Department of Homeland Security finalized changes to the public charge rule that will make it much more difficult for immigrants from low-income backgrounds to gain permanent residency status in the US. Under this proposed rule change, immigration officials will weigh applicants' use of benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, housing assistance, and Medicaid; income and financial status (under 125% of the federal poverty level will count as a negative factor, over 250% of the federal poverty level as a positive factor); age (being under the age of 18 or over the age of 61 will be counted negatively); education; and health status, with medical conditions deemed likely to require extensive treatment or institutional care, or to interfere with the immigrant’s ability to earn an income counting against the applicant. The rule change is currently scheduled to go into effect on October 15. So far, 13 states and two California counties have sued to block this rule change from going into effect. 

August 2, 2019

  • A proposed rule change from the Department of Housing and Urban Development would make it much more difficult to bring discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act by rolling back the Obama-era "disparate impact" rule.  
     
  • This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a bill—America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019—to authorize $287 billion over five years for surface transportation projects. This bill includes funding for active transportation initiatives like Safe Routes to School and Complete Streets, public transit, and other transportation planning projects.

 

July 26, 2019

  • The USDA proposed changing the way states determine eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which could result in millions of people losing food assistance. Currently, states can waive income and asset limits and offer food assistance to households with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level, if those households face other expenses—like child care or rent—that leave them with too little money to buy food. Under the proposed rule change, a household’s gross income could not exceed 130% of the federal poverty level, regardless of other expenses a household needs to cover. The rule change would also eliminate food assistance for seniors and people with disabilities if their savings or assets exceed $3,500. 

 

July 12th, 2019

  • President Trump announced on Thursday that the 2020 census will not include a citizenship question, and that the Commerce Department would be instructed to collect citizenship data by other means.  
     
  • A lawsuit brought by 18 state attorneys general challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act,  Texas v. Azar, was heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this week, after a 2018 ruling by a district court judge found the law unconstitutional on the grounds that the penalty associated with the individual mandate had been revoked. 
     

June 28th 2019

  • This week, Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut and Representative Matsui of California introduced legislation to restore the Prevention and Public Health Fund to its original funding level of $2 billion per year. 
     
  • The Senate HELP Committee approved the Lower Health Care Costs Act and sent the bill to the Senate floor. This bill would address surprise medical bills, increase cost transparency in the healthcare industry and drug supply chain, and raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21. 

 

June 21st 2019

  • The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing on reparations for slavery and other forms of discrimination against African-Americans this week, featuring testimony from academics, advocates, and journalists. 
     
  • A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas increased the uninsured rate and sowed confusion among Medicaid recipients, but did not boost employment, as proponents of work requirements claimed.

June 8th

  • This week, the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, which would create a path to citizenship for more than two million undocumented immigrants, including the Dreamers. 
     
  • The Office of Refugee Resettlement announced that it will be canceling English-language classes, recreational opportunities, and legal assistance for unaccompanied children held in many federal migrant shelters, with Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber citing financial pressure and describing these activities as “not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety, including education services, legal services, and recreation.” 
     

May 31st

  • President Trump signed a memorandum calling on government agencies to enforce a 23-year-old law that requires US citizen sponsors of green-card holders to reimburse the government for welfare benefits. 
     
  • Yesterday, the California State Assembly passed AB656, which would create a statewide Office of Healthy and Safe Communities. 
     

May 13th

  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development posted a proposed rule in the Federal Register on Friday, May 10, that would force mixed-status families to choose between continuing to receive housing assistance or live in public housing and continuing to live with family members who are not eligible for housing assistance. 
  • A proposed rule change from the Office of Management and Budget would count fewer people as living below the official federal poverty line and thus disqualify millions of people living in poverty from accessing safety-net programs like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and housing assistance, among other social programs. 
  • The House Appropriations Committee approved FY 2020 plan to fund Labor and Health and Human Services, funding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at $514 million (a $25 million increase over FY 2019 funding). 

April 11th

  • House Democrats requested more information on the Justice Department’s refusal to defend the Affordable Care Act against a legal challenge that threatens to invalidate the law as a whole.
     
  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and 14 Democratic co-sponsors introduced the fifth iteration of his Medicare for All proposal to implement single-payer healthcare in the US. Under the proposal, hospital visits, primary care, medical devices, lab services, maternity care, vision care, dental care, and prescription drugs would be covered for all US residents without a co-pay. This version also includes long-term care support for people with disabilities.
     

March 29th

  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development chargedFacebook with violating the Fair Housing Act for allowing advertisers on their platform to screen viewers based on race, sex, religion, age, family status, disability, and neighborhood. 
  • A federal judge blocked Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky, arguing that the Department of Health and Human Services' approval of work requirements failed to "consider adequately" the objective of Medicaid: to provide access to medical care. 
     

March 27th

  • On Monday, the Department of Justice issued a letter to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that the ruling of a Texas district court judge invalidating the Affordable Care Act as a whole should be upheld. This reverses the previous position by the Administration that only certain elements of the ACA should be struck down under the Texas ruling.
  • The White House released its 2020 budget proposal, including a $750.5 million cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget (more details here). That includes $236.5 million cut for programs under Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (including the elimination of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program), $146.3 million cut to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and a $52.4 million cut to Environmental Health programs including Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, and $19.7 million in cuts to injury prevention programs. The President’s budget does include the Prevention and Public Health Fund at $893 million. As in past years the Budget proposes an overarching block grant approach for chronic disease as part of the America’s Health Block Grant.  
  • Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, and the Sackler family will pay $270 million to the state of Oklahoma to settle a lawsuit over Purdue’s role in the opioid crisis. Other opioid manufacturers have yet to settle with Oklahoma, and other litigation targeting Purdue Pharma and other pharmaceutical companies is moving forward.

 

March 1st

  • The House voted this week to approve two gun-safety bills that would require background checks on all firearm sales, including private sales, online sales, and gun-show purchases, and extend the review period for background checks on firearm purchases 
     
  • This week, the Senate confirmed Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
     
  • A National Academy of Sciences panel reported back with its findings on the costs of child poverty in the US and four pathways to reducing child poverty over the next 10 years. One proposal would increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and make the Child Care Tax Credit fully refundable (these two measures are part of all four proposals), as well as raising the minimum wage and expanding job-training programs. A second proposal would provide a $2,000 per year child allowance to all children under age 17 – a proposal that is projected to decrease child poverty by one-third in 10 years. A third proposal would increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits by 35% and increase access to Section 8 housing vouchers, which is projected to cut child poverty in half. The final proposal involves a bigger increase to the EITC than the other three proposals, raises the minimum wage to $10.25/hour, expands anti-poverty programs to documented immigrants who are currently not eligible, and includes a child allowance of $2,700/year, with an additional $1,200/year child support payment for single parents. The most expensive of these proposals tops out at $111.6 billion/year, far less than the estimated $1.1 trillion/year costs associated with child poverty.

February 22nd

  • The Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule that would bar organizations that provide abortions or refer patients for abortions from participating in Title X, a $286 million federal family planning program.
     

February 15th

  • This week, Congress approved and President Trump signed a $333 billion spending package to fund the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, and the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Justice, State, and Homeland Security through September 30. This spending deal fell short of President Trump's demands for border wall funding, leading him to declare a national emergency at the US southern border to secure funding. 
     
  • The Supreme Court agreed to expedite and hear the case of whether the Trump administration may add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. 
     

February 8th

  • The Trump administration's 2020 budget proposal is expected to be released by mid-March, after being delayed by the partial government shutdown. 
     
  • Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey sponsored a resolution this week -- backed by 60 House Democrats and nine Senate Democrats -- outlining the principles of a Green New Deal, a 10-year plan to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. 
     
  • During his State of the Union address this week, President Trump called for action on opioids, new research on childhood cancer treatments, and the eradication of HIV transmission in the US by 2030, promising that his administration's 2020 budget proposal would call for increased resources to address HIV. 
     

January 28th

  • Federal employees are back at work today, after a five-week partial government shutdown ended with a temporary agreement to fund the government on Friday. 
     

January 22nd

  • The partial government shutdown passed the four-week mark on Friday, January 18. Native American tribes are experiencing sharp cutbacks to health services, education, housing, child welfare, maintenance of tribal lands, and economic development. Domestic violence shelters across the country are cutting services for survivors because they can’t access the funding they would normally receive from the Department of Justice. Over 800,000 federal workers are going without pay and are being forced to make difficult choices to cover their basic needs, unsure when they will receive their next paychecks. Routine food safety inspections have been cut back. Hundreds of inspections of water systems, chemical factories, power plants, oil refineries, and other industrial sites have been cancelled. More than 40,000 immigrants, many of whom have been waiting years to have their cases heard in immigration court,  have had their hearings cancelled. More than 2,500 food retailers (and counting) are no longer able to accept food assistance benefits because their licenses were not renewed before the government shutdown. As government housing contracts expire, hundreds of thousands of tenants of low income are at risk of eviction. Other impacts range from delayed disaster relief to interrupted data collection on climate change and other health issues. 

Week of January 5th - January 11th

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom introduced his first budget proposal this week, calling for increased investments in early childhood care and learning (including $750 million for all-day Kindergarten and a proposal to expand universal preschool to all low-income California children),  healthcare (expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility and benefits, a proposal to create a single-payer system for prescription drugs), education, poverty (including doubling a tax credit available to low-income families), homelessness, expanded paid family leave, water safety, and other issues.  
     
  • The partial shutdown of the federal government reached 21 days on Friday, affecting food programs, healthcare, and other services for Native American tribes; the National Park System; the Environmental Protection Agency, with has cut back on investigating environmental hazards; the Food and Drug Administration, which has ceased routine food-safety investigations; the National Transportation Safety Board; immigration caseloads; and more, with furloughed federal workers missing their first paycheck.   
     

Week of December 29th - January 4th

  • The 116th Congress was sworn in this week, and Nancy Pelosi was elected as House Speaker. The freshman class in the US House of Representatives includes the largest number of women ever elected to Congress and a diverse cohort of new representatives, including the first two Native American women, the first two Muslim-American women, the first Korean-American woman ever to be elected to the US Congress, the first Latina representatives from the state of Texas, and the youngest women ever elected to Congress.
     
  • The government has been partially shut down for 14 days because of a dispute over the Administration’srequest for $5 billion in funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border. The Environmental Protection Agency ran out of funding this week, limiting the agency’s capacity to uphold clean water standards and regulate pesticides. Indian Health Service clinics that provide direct healthcare services to tribal communities remain open, but employees are going without pay, and tribal health programs and preventive health clinics have been suspended. The US House voted Thursday night on two bills to reopen the federal government, but these are not expected to be taken up by the Senate.
     
  • Sixteen Democratic-led states and the District of Columbia appealed a federal judge’s ruling to strike down the Affordable Care Act, arguing that the judge ignored Congress’ “clear intent” when he ruled that the elimination of the individual mandate penalty in 2017 invalidated the law as a whole.
     
  • The Senate confirmed Jim Carroll to serve as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the first permanent head of this office under the current administration.

 

Week of December 22nd - 28th

  • The partial government shutdown enters its second week, with negotiation and action to reopen the government likely on hold until the next Congress convenes in January. 
     
  • A second migrant child died in federal custody on Christmas Day, after the eight-year-old boy and his father were detained by US Customs and Border Control, transferred between various checkpoints and facilities not designed to safely house children, and held in detention for twice the amount of time the recommended for children. Felipe Alonzo Gomez was the second migrant child to die in the past month, after the death ofJakelin Caal Maquin, age 7. In response, the Department of Homeland Security has expanded health screenings of detained children, particularly young children under the age of 10. 
     
  • A proposed plan would weaken the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to restrict hazardous pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants by changing the way the EPA assesses the benefits of restricting pollutants to give less consideration to public health. 
     

Week of December 16th - 21st

  • A federal judge struck down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional on the grounds that the elimination of the individual mandate as part of last year's tax reform package invalidates the law as a whole. The case was brought by 20 Republican governors and attorneys general. The Affordable Care Act remains in place as legal challenges proceed.
     
  • With funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, and the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Justice, State, and Homeland Security set to run out on December 21, the potential for a partial government shutdown over the administration's demands for $5 billion in border wall funding looms. 
     
  • Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that his department will propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that could result in 755,000 people losing access to nutrition benefits. The proposed rule would limit the ability of states to waive work requirements for so-called “able-bodied adults without dependents” between the ages of 18 and 49, requiring that waivers could only be used where the county-level unemployment rate exceeded seven percent. 
     

Week of December 9th - 15th
 

  • The US Senate and House passed a bipartisan Farm Bill this week, which President Trump is expected to sign next week. The current legislation does not include the strict work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients and the rollbacks of pesticide regulations that were included in earlier House versions of the bill.
     
  • The House and Senate have passed the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that would fund state committees to investigate maternal deaths, with the goal of reducing maternal mortality, especially among women of color. 
     
  • Click here to read PI's weekly media digest for the week of December 9th - 15th

View past weeks

Prevention Institute works with partners across the country and develops resources to promote upstream, equity-oriented prevention policies and practices.

View Additional Resources

 

Prevention Institute engages in legislative, administrative, and regulatory advocacy to support upstream prevention policies and investments that advance health, safety, and equity.

April 5, 2021

  • PI joined MomsRising in signing onto a letter of support urging the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to support a pathway to citizenship for essential workers, Dreamers, and TPS holder in the next economic recovery package

April 1, 2021

  • PI signed on in support of a bipartisan Dear Colleague letter urging the highest possible funding level in Fiscal Year 2022 for programs at HRSA, CDC, and NIH that seek to prevent maternal deaths, eliminate inequities in maternal health outcomes, and improve maternal health

March 30, 2021

  • PI joined the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and The Kennedy Forum in signing a letter of support urging the Department of Education to issue guidance that supports schools in prioritizing supplemental funding from the American Rescue Plan Act on mental health services and supports as students return to in-person learning

March 23, 2021

  • PI submitted a statement for the record in support of gun safety reform to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Constitutional and Common Sense Steps to Reduce Gun Violence

March 22, 2021

  • PI, alongside 190 organizations, signed onto a letter of support urging Congressional leadership in the Committee on Appropriations to increase funding for the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) to $50 million in Fiscal Year 2022

March 19, 2021

  • PI joined an ask led by the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs urging the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to support at least $750 million for the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant in Fiscal Year 2022

March 18, 2021

  • PI joined an effort led by Trust for America’s Health, the American Public Health Association, and Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum by signing on to a letter, urging the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of CDC to ensure that funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act prioritizes communities of color and tribal communities that are disproportionately affected and underserved

March 17, 2021

  • PI collaborated with the Society for Public Health Education, Trust for America’s Health, YMCA of the USA, National REACH Coalition, Public Health Institute, and National Association of City and County Health Officials in writing a letter to Congressional leaders, urging them to provide at least $102.5 million for the CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill – with $75.5 million going to REACH grantees and $27 million for its affiliated program Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC)

March 16, 2021

  • PI joined an effort led by the American Lung Association and the American Public Health Association by signing onto a letter shared with members of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, urging them to increase funding for the CDC’s Climate Health Program to $50 million in FY 2022

March 12, 2021

  • PI joined efforts led by the Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition by signing a letter shared with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, asking them to issue written guidance and clarify that COVID-19 is as an “emergency medical condition”. Doing so would allow federal Medicaid funds to pay for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and related services for immigrants ineligible for full-scope Medicaid because of their immigration status. It would also, following the guidance of the American Rescue Plan Act, mandate coverage of vaccines and vaccine distribution for those eligible for emergency Medicaid

March 4, 2021

  • PI submitted a letter of support for passing universal background checks through an effort led by Giffords, urging Congress to enact meaningful legislation to reduce gun violence

March 3, 2021

  • PI joined an ask led by the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition urging the Biden-Harris administration to act on all fronts to mitigate the harm and reverse the Trump administration’s public charge regulation by: (1) Directing the Justice Department to withdraw its appeals of all lawsuits challenging the regulation; (2) Protecting future agency rule-making; (3) Communicating to immigrants and their families that the policy has been reversed and that it is safe to access health, nutrition, and other programs for which they are eligible; and 4) Developing and issuing new public charge regulations as soon as possible

March 2, 2021

  • PI joined Trust for America's Health and others in endorsing the reintroduction of the Public Health Infrastructure Saves Lives Act by Senator Patty Murray (D, WA). The bill would strengthen the public health system of the United States through investment in state, local, tribal and territorial public health infrastructure

March 1, 2021

  • PI joined a letter led by the National Immigration Law Center, in partnership with the Children Thrive Action Network, urging congressional leaders to ensure that COVID-19 relief in the American Rescue Act is inclusive of mixed-status immigrant families

February 26, 2021

  • PI joined a letter led by Trust for America's Health in support of the Public Health Funding Prevents Pandemics Act, which would restore funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund to its orginially authorized level of $2 billion

February 24, 2021

  • PI joined advocates in signing on to letters shared with leaders in the House Committee of Appropriations and Senate Committee on Appropriations, requesting $10 million to research child sexual abuse prevention at the Division of Violence Prevention at CDC in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Service, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill

February 23, 2021

  • PI signed onto a letter led by the Center for Law and Social Policy and partners at the Reconnecting Youth Campaign, calling for Congress to prioritize wellbeing and expanded educational and economic opportunities for youth in the American Rescue Plan

February 18, 2021

  • PI joined 200 medical, public health, and research organizations in letters addressed to House and Senate leadership within the Committee on Appropriations, urging them to increase funding for Gun Violence Prevention research to $50 million evenly split between CDC and NIH in Fiscal Year 2022
  • PI joined Public Advocates, in partnership with Housing Now! California, in a sign on letter, urging the U.S. Department of the Treasury to rescind the Trump Administration’s FAQ on emergency rental assistance and replace it with guidelines that ensure accessibility to all eligible landlords and tenants

February 17, 2021

  • PI joined CDC Coalition members in a letter that was shared with House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittee leaders, urging them to provide at least $10 billion in funding for progams at the CDC in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill

February 16, 2021

  • PI signed on to a letter supporting the American Rescue Act
  • PI signed on to a statement underscoring the importance of immigrant access to benefits. 

February 11, 2021

  • PI signed on to a letter in support of the proposed $350 billion in aid to states, cities, counties, tribes, and territories.

February 10, 2021

  • PI signed the U.S. Call to Action on Climate, Health and Equity, which lists 10 policy recommendations to help the Biden-Harris administration develop coordinated strategies across the government for tackling climate change, health and equity.

February 6, 2021

  •  PI signed on to a letter to congressional leadership in support of sustained funding for core public health infrastructure and workforce. 

January  28, 2021 

  • PI joined a letter by Families for Safe Streets, Toward Zero Deaths, Road to Zero Coalition and Vision Zero Network to urge President Biden and his administration to commit to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by 2050.

January 15, 2021

  • PI joined a letter by The Center for American Progress, in partnership with Community Change Action, United We Dream, the Service Employees International Union, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Immigration Law Center, The Immigration Hub, and FWD.us, to the Senate and House of Representatives to include permanent protections and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are longstanding members of our community, including DACA recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and those essential workers who have been on the frontlines during this pandemic.

January 8, 2021

  • PI signed on to a letter urging President-Elect Biden to move swiftly to repeal Executive Order (EO) 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

December 20, 2020 

December 18, 2020 

  • PI joined letters to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Biden COVID taskforce to  ensure immigrant access to vaccines. 

December 15, 2020

  • As members of Families USA’s Health Equity Task Force for Delivery and Payment Transformation, PI joined a letter sharing recommendations for the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Task Force.

December 8, 2020

  • PI joined a letter urging Congress to take swift action in passing the bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (H.R. 4995) and the bipartisan Helping MOMS Act of 2020 (H.R. 4996) to address maternal mortality and improve maternal health outcomes including addressing stark and persistent racial inequities in maternal morbidity and mortality.

December 2, 2020 

  • As members of the Center for Law and Social Policy’s Children Thrive Action Network, PI joined a letter sharing priorities to defend and support America’s children in immigrant families with the Biden-Harris transition team.

December 2, 2020 

  • PI joined a letter urging Congress to fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health at the House-passed funding level of $240 million as negotiations continue on the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills.

November 20, 2020

October 15, 2020

  • PI signed on to H.R. 7689, the Improving Data Collection for Adverse Childhood Experiences Act.  

October 14, 2020

  • Along with 13 other public health organizations Prevention Institute signed on to a statement condemning the Great Barrington Declaration–the herd immunity scheme for controlling the spread of SARS CoVID-2.

October 9, 2020

  • PI signed on to a letter to urge Senate to take immediate action to address the COVID-19 pandemic instead of focusing on the SCOTUS confirmation process.

October 6, 2020

September 25, 2020

  • PI signed onto a letter to President Trump from public health experts expressing our concerns about the federal government's position on ACA repeal in California v. Texas.

September 3, 2020

  • PI signed on to a group letter to congressional leadership advocating for increased funding to prevent older adult falls

September 1, 2020

  • PI signed on to this letter to Vice President Pence, head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, urging a reversal of the recent revisions in CDC guidelines around COVID testing.

August 20, 2020

  • PI signed on to this letter urging Congress to exercise its authority to empower state and local governments with the funding and guidance needed to ensure a safe and secure election.

July 24, 2020

  • PI joined the Injury and Violence Prevention Network’s congressional letter requesting that the next emergency supplemental funding package to bolster the nation’s response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic includes funding to respond to and prevent injuries and violence that are adversely and inequitably impacting communities across the country since the start of the outbreak.

July 21, 2020

  • PI signed on to this letter advocating that the Health Force and Resilience Force Act (H.R. 6808/ S. 3606) be included in the next COVID-19 response package. 

July 15, 2020

  • PI signed on to this letter urging Congress to address barriers to COVID-19 communications.
  • PI signed on to this letter urging the administration to reverse its decision to bypass the CDC in the collection of COVID-19 patient data.
  • PI signed on to this letter urging Congress to take action to address the exclusion of immigrant families, workers, taxpayers, and their U.S. children and spouses  from the CARES Act and other COVID-19 recovery packages in the next pandemic relief legislation.

July 14, 2020

  • PI signed on to this letter in support of science and public health experts on COVID-19
  • PI signed on to this letter urging Congress to include the Pandemic TANF Assistance Act in next COVID-19 relief

June 29, 2020

  • PI signed on to this letter to the HHS Secretary to extend the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration.

June 25, 2020

  • PI signed on to this letter to HHS Secretary Azar urging him to strengthen and affirm the role of CDC.

June 25, 2020

  • PI signed on to this letter to President Trump from public health officials expressing our concerns about the federal government's position on ACA repeal in California v. Texas. 

June 24, 2020

  • PI joined two letters—one to the House and one to the Senate—supporting the Public Health Loan Repayment Program included in the HEROES Act, and urging Congress to create and fund this program as part of the next COVID-19 package.

June 15, 2020

  • PI signed on to this letter urging Congress to ensure that every state is required to implement a vote-by-mail option before the 2020 presidential election so that every person in the U.S. who is eligible to vote is able to do so without risking their health.

May 29, 2020 

  • PI joined over 250 organizations in a letter led by the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum urging Senators to support the Health Equity & Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women & Families Act of 2020 (S. 3799) which was introduced for the first time in the Senate by Senator Cory Booker on May 20, 2020.

May 20, 2020

  • PI joined over 170 organizations in a request to Congress led by National League of Cities (NLC) urging them to include direct fiscal funding to local governments in the next COVID-19 stimulus as part of the Cities are Essential campaign. 

May 14, 2020 

May 11, 2020 

  • PI joined 38 other organizations in a letter led by the Health Equity Collaborative urging HHS to expand federal funding opportunities to address the impact of COVID-19 within communities of color and rural communities.

April 30, 2020 

  • The California-based ENACT Day coalition releases its 2020 policy agenda, which calls for a bold vision of an equitable, community-centered California. PI developed the platform in collaboration with its ENACT Partners: Public Health Advocates, California Food Policy Advocates, CA4Health (at Public Health Institute), and the Center for Healthy Communities at CSU Chico.

April 28th, 2020

  • In this comment letter, PI detailed its opposition to a City Council motion that would arm Park Rangers in Los Angeles, a dangerous and counterproductive approach for promoting park utilization in communities of color. The letter also elevates proven design and programming alternatives for addressing public safety in parks.  

April 24th, 2020 

  • Prevention Institute joined letters to Congress and the department of Health and Human Services led by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and Trust for America’s Health calling for collection and reporting of demographic data on COVID-19 patients, either in the next legislation or by agency action. 

April 21, 2020

  • PI endorsed the Dear Colleague letter circulated by Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García to sign on as an original co-sponsor of the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2020. 

April 20th, 2020 

  • Prevention Institute submitted a federal comment strongly opposing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s  “Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs” proposed rule (85 FR 4094). If implemented, this rule would undermine efforts to improve the quality and nutritional value of foods served in schools.

April 15th, 2020 

  • PI joined over 550 national, state and local organizations led by the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign letter to congress urging an immigrant-inclusive COVID-19 response package.

April 14, 2020 

  • Joined a letter to congress led by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) requesting urgent attention to the needs of intimate partner and sexual assault survivors, their children, and the programs that support them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 13th, 2020

  • PI joined over 175 organizations on the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA)’s request to Congress to address school meals, SNAP, WIC, and SNAP-Ed in the fourth COVID supplemental.

April 3, 2020

April 1, 2020

  • PI joined a request in support of establishing a loan repayment program as part of a Phase 4 COVID-19 response for public health professionals who agree to serve two years in a local, state, or tribal health department, in order to help recruit and retain trained staff.

March 24, 2020

  • PI signed on to Team #MediaJustice’s campaign urging Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai  to take action for prison phone justice in COVID-19 relief efforts

March 20, 2020

  • PI and 87 other organizations signed on to a letter urging the Vice President and Congressional leadership to include funding to address current and future mental health and substance use needs.
  • PI and more than 630 others signed on to a letter to Congressional leadership calling for immigrants to be included in the COVID-19 3.0 relief package. 
  • PI endorsed this Dear Colleague letter asking Congress to prioritize critically needed funding and resources for our nation’s immigrant population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    PI signed on in support of this letter calling on Congressional leaders to provide an additional $4.5 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state, local, tribal, and territorial health infrastructure to  pay for such essential activities as disease surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, all-hazards preparedness and response; policy development and support; communications; community partnership development; and organizational competencies.

March 13, 2020

  • Along with fifty-five national public health organizations, PI signed this letter to call on Congress, the Trump Administration, and state legislators to pass paid sick leave legislation in response to the coronavirus.

March 9th, 2020 

  • Prevention Institute submitted a federal comment strongly opposing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule which would severely weaken AFFH protections and in turn perpetuate the community disparities that result in health inequities.

November 25, 2019

October 31, 2019

October 24, 2019

October 15, 2019

September 24, 2019

  • This sign-on letter is being circulated by Prevention Institute, the Society of Public Health Educators, Trust for America’s Health, the YMCA, Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum, the National REACH Coalition, and Public Health Institute, among others.

September 19, 2019

  • PI signed on to this amicus brief developed by the National Housing Law Project, the Food Research & Action Center, Center for Law and Social Policy, and other groups to oppose the administration's public charge rule. The amicus brief argues that changes to public charge will result in immigrants forgoing crucial public benefits that promote self-sufficiency and that by foregoing benefits, the end result will be greater housing instability, homelessness, hunger and illness.

September 18, 2019

  • In a letter to the US Department of Agriculture, PI strongly opposed the Food and Nutrition Service’s proposed rule to eliminate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s broad-based categorical eligibility option.

June 13. 2019

June 10, 2019

April 2, 2019

  • Prevention Institute signed on to an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court, concerning potential inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census and the risk of undercounting -- and thus under-representing and under-resourcing -- immigrant and Latino communities. 

April 1, 2019

January 2019

  • PI provided comments on the Healthy People 2030 Core, Developmental and Research Objectives.

November 9, 2018

  • PI submitted a public comment letter opposing proposed changes to the public charge rule. Read the letter here. 

June 21st 2018

  • PI's joint letter with TFAH, APHA, NACCHO, PHI, and ASPPH urges the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reunite the families who have been separated during the "zero tolerance" policy and provide the necessary health and mental health services to mitigate any long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences that children of these families may have experienced due to separation.

April 20th 2018 

  • In support of the youth-led movement challenge to the status quo on guns, and renewed calls for action to address gun violence, Prevention Institute released an updated list of recommendations to prevent multiple forms of gun violence. 

September 27th

  • PI’s action alert  applauds Senator Collins and Senator John McCain for speaking out against the Graham-Cassidy bill and the process that produced it.

September 25th

  • PI and the leadership from the American Public Health Association, Public Health Institute, and Trust for America’s Health released a joint statement and call to action denouncing the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill.

    September  22nd

    September 15th and 19th

    September 7th

    • Following the decision to rollback DACA, PI calls on Congress to defend the Dreamers

    View all