November 3, 2021
- Negotiations begin ahead of deadline to avoid government shutdown
- Build Back Better (BBB) Framework, draft bill released
Legislative leadership and Governor Brown consider special session
A letter signed by more than 50 organizations, including OPCA calls on Governor Brown, Senate President Peter Courtney, and House Speaker Tina Kotek to convene a special session in the waning days of 2021 to address the expiring state eviction moratorium. Without swift action, tenant protections passed earlier this year are about to end - setting up an eviction crisis that will certainly exacerbate existing health inequities among low-income Oregonians and communities of color. The letter cites that more than 27,000 households across the state are at risk of eviction due to delays in the distribution of rental assistance funds.
Oregon Housing and Community Servies, the agency charged with evaluating applications and distributing rent assistance dollars reported in October that it would likely take another 10-13 weeks to catch up on the massive backlog of applications for assistance. If that timeline holds true, eviction protections will have expired for those protected under Senate Bill 278 (2021).
House and Senate Appropriations start negotiations on government funding
As the December 3, 2021 deadline to fund the government approaches, House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) invited Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) to meet next week to work on a government funding deal. While lawmakers have indicated that another continuing resolution is likely, hope remains the two parties can come to a consensus on defense and non-defense spending and other sticking points. A long-term continuing resolution would continue level-funding and prevent earmarks (direct spending) from being included.
Build Back Better (BBB) Framework, draft bill released
On October 28, President Biden outlined his framework for the BBB Act, hoping to persuade progressives to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The $1.75T framework announced by President Biden contains $135B for an expansion of the ACA premium tax credits through 2025 to help close the Medicaid coverage gap; $35B for an expansion of Medicare to cover hearing benefits and $150B for Medicaid home health care. The framework also includes investments in combatting climate change, affordable housing, and child care and is fully paid for through tax increases on corporations and wealthy Americans as well as repealing the prescription drug rebate rule. Today, November 3, a new version of the bill was posted on the House Rules page. Health center highlights include:
- $2 billion for health center capital (double what was included before)
- $3.37 billion for Teaching Health Center GME
- $2 billion for the National Health Service Corps (up from $650 million)
- $500 million for Nurse Corps (up from $200 million)