Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress
NCSD Policy Staff
August 21, 2020
COVID-19 Data Collection
On Monday, Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force hinted that the CDC is “working to build a revolutionary new data system” and may resume collection and tracking of coronavirus hospital data. This move is supported by several public health leaders, with Dr. Vineet Chopra, chief of the division of hospital medicine at the University of Michigan and a member of a federal advisory committee on hospital infection prevention, saying that moving data collection back to the CDC “would help us tremendously in getting back on track with respect to reporting and understanding what’s happening with this pandemic across the region, the state and the nation.”
Senate Releases Revised HEALS Act
Senate Republicans released a revised version of their COVID-19 relief bill, the HEALS Act. The date for a vote is unknown. However, it’s unlikely that Senate, Democratic House leadership, and the White House will reach a compromise before the end of September.
The updated Senate bill includes a $10 billion loan to the U.S. Postal Service, weekly unemployment insurance benefits of $300 through late December; liability protections to businesses, schools, and health care professionals; $105 billion for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities; $29 billion for COVID-19 vaccine and drug development and distribution; $16 billion for testing and contact tracing.
The revised version of the bill does not include a second $1,200 stimulus payments to individuals, additional aid directly for state and local governments, employer tax credits, funding to build a new FBI headquarters in downtown Washington, or $8 billion for the Pentagon to procure various weaponry.