WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 27, 2020
As we continue to combat this national health pandemic, President Trump has advocated for unity, calling on Members of Congress to work together with the administration to help American families, workers, and small businesses suffering from the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus. After days of unnecessary Democrat political posturing, today the House of Representatives passed by voice vote a coronavirus response package – phase 3 – that is the result of necessary bipartisan collaboration.
This bill includes a number of education and workforce provisions that will give our nation’s schools and businesses the flexibility they need to ensure students and American workers are supported during this unprecedented moment in our nation’s history. Here’s a deeper look at some of the Education and Labor Committee-related provisions:
- Gives colleges and universities the flexibility needed to direct campus-based aid to students struggling the most in this environment.
- Provides schools the flexibility to ensure this interrupted semester does not stop a students' ability to continue class in the future. Students will not be on the hook for financial aid distributed to them when the pandemic forced them to drop out mid-term.
- Frees institutional grants from restrictions that prevent minority serving institutions from better serving students in need.
Student Loan Borrowers
- Provides direct financial relief to many student loan borrowers by pausing their monthly repayment requirements for six months and requiring the Secretary of Education to suspend all interest accumulation and monthly payments on federally held student loans.
- Stops collecting student loans for borrowers in default.
- Provides the Secretary of Education additional waiver authority to ensure school districts can focus on addressing students’ needs during this pandemic.
- Allows states to waive annual student testing for schools affected by COVID-19.
- Allows schools to use any remaining funds from Title I – the largest program in the Every Student Succeeds Act that aims to provide all children with the opportunity to receive a high-quality education – for next year.
- Gives school districts increased flexibility in how they use block grant funds, allowing more funds to be used for technology and other activities related to coronavirus recovery.
- Provides additional flexibilities so local workforce agencies are prepared to address the needs of workers who have experienced job loss due to COVID-19.
- Provides additional flexibility for HHS to ensure vital services are provided to our nation’s seniors.
- Ensures that all tests for COVID-19 are covered with no out of pocket costs.
- Ensures that providers and labs supplying COVID-19 testing and related services charge fair and transparent rates.
- Requires a COVID-19 vaccine to be covered with no out of pocket costs no later than 15 business days after a United States Preventive Task Force rating of A or B or a recommendation of coverage from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control.
- Grants the Department of Labor (DOL) the authority to give health, retirement, and disability plans additional time to comply with deadlines.
- Makes technical corrections to help clarify paid leave provisions included in the phase 2 coronavirus legislation (H.R. 6201).
- Gives the DOL Secretary the authority to postpone certain retirement plan deadlines.