Today, Congressional leaders and the Administration continue discussions and negotiations on health-care reform legislation. As the discussion progresses, there are growing concerns about the inclusion of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) in health-care reconciliation legislation. With a small group of Democratic Senators opposing the current form of SAFRA, the outlook for passing a health-care bill that includes SAFRA is becoming increasingly difficult. ACCT continues to advocate for SAFRA and is monitoring the situation. Community college trustees, presidents and other leaders who are currently attending the 2010 National Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. continue to urge their members of Congress to include SAFRA in the reconciliation.
In other news, the Senate today passed H.R. 4213, The American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010. This bill largely extends several exporting or expired programs including several of interest to education, such as the deduction. The bill passed 62-13. The bill now returns to the House, which passed its original version on last December. The Senate still has to consider the House amendments to H.R. 2847. This is the "smaller" $15-17 billion jobs bill, which includes additional subsidies for school construction bonds.
Also, Education and Labor committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA) today introduced a new jobs bill, The Local Jobs for America Act. This bill includes the $23 billion for education aid that was part of the December House-passed Jobs for Mainstreet Act, and an additional $75 billion over two years to local governments to help retain workers - including school employees. More information is available at: http://georgemiller.house.gov/news/2010/03/congress_and_mayors_announce_n.html