Capitol to Capitol | April 6, 2021

4/6/2021

White House Unveils Infrastructure Plan

The White House unveiled the American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion infrastructure package focused on investments in transportation; home infrastructure, including broadband and water; manufacturing and supply chains; schools and child care facilities; as well as home- and community-based care for older and disabled individuals. The package will likely be split into multiple bills, and components will need broad congressional support. Below are select highlights.

The plan directs over $600 billion to repairing roads and bridges, modernizing public transit, investing in passenger and freight rail service, supporting electric vehicle growth, and upgrading the nation’s ports, waterways and airports. Additionally, the plan includes $20 billion for a program to address “historic inequities” in transportation infrastructure.

The plan addresses water infrastructure with $111 billion to replace 100% of the nation’s lead pipes and lead service lines and provides $56 billion in grants and low-cost flexible loans to states to modernize drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems across the nation. The plan also provides funding to monitor and remediate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, in drinking water.

The nation’s power infrastructure would see an investment of $100 billion aimed at building a more resilient electric transmission system; modernizing power generation and delivering clean energy; investing in the workforce to plug oil and gas wells and reclaim abandoned mines; and remediating and redeveloping brownfield and Superfund sites.

The plan calls for $50 billion to safeguard critical infrastructure and services; support vulnerable communities; maximize the resilience of land and water resources, including support for agricultural resource management and protection from extreme wildfires; and build costal resilience to sea-level rise and hurricanes.

The plan includes $100 billion to bring affordable and reliable high-speed broadband to every household, with funds set aside to ensure infrastructure on tribal lands. The plan also proposes $213 billion to address affordable housing, including an effort to eliminate certain state and local zoning laws.

The proposal provides funds for community college infrastructure, upgrades to certain child care facilities, modernizing public schools and veterans’ facilities, and expanding access to home- or community-based services for aging and disabled individuals. It also makes investments in research and development and focuses on domestic manufacturing and workforce development.

The plan also makes a number of changes to the tax code, including increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%. The proposal has a long road to travel. A White House summary of the American Jobs Plan can be found here

NCSL Contacts: Kristen Hildreth (natural resources and infrastructure) Lucia Bragg (law, criminal justice and public safety) and Abbie Gruwell (communications), Haley Nicholson (health) and Austin Reid (education).

Eviction Moratorium Extended

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an extension of the federal eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. The White House fact sheet indicates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will establish a new effort to increase public awareness of the moratorium’s protections while also working with the Federal Trade Commission to enforce penalties against landlords who violate the order. Read more.

NCSL Contact: Jon Jukuri and Michael Quillen

Department of Education Provides Student Loan Relief for Permanently Disabled Borrowers and Borrowers Under the FFEL Program

Income documentation requirements for borrowers who receive a federal student loan discharge due to total and permanent disability will be waived during the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. Any loans that were reinstated or payments that were made during the pandemic will be discharged or refunded. Additionally, borrowers who defaulted on a privately held Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) will not pay interest on their loan and receive relief from collection activities through Sept. 30, 2021. The relief will apply retroactively to March 13, 2020, and any tax refunds seized or wages garnished over the past year will be returned to borrowers. Read more here for information on student loan relief for permanently disabled borrowers, and here for information on student loan relief in the FFEL program.

NCSL Contacts: Austin Reid and Jocelyn Salguero

Special enrollment period for ACA Extended

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the special enrollment period is extended to Aug. 15 for individuals who want to enroll in a health insurance plan through the marketplace on HealthCare.gov. The extended timeline allows consumers to review any potential new savings they could receive on marketplace plans through the American Rescue Plan. The extension allows an additional three months for new and current enrollees to enroll or reevaluate their coverage needs with the inclusion of increased tax credits available to help reduce health plan premiums. The Department of Health and Human Services also announced an additional $50 million will be provided in advertising to bolster the SEP outreach campaign. Read more.

NCSL Contacts: Haley Nicholson and Margaret Wile

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Read the March 22 Capitol to Capitol.

NCSL's Advocacy in Washington

NCSL’s Washington staff advocates on behalf of state legislatures before Congress, the White House and federal agencies in accord with the policy directives and resolutions that are recommended by the NCSL Standing Committees and adopted by the full conference at the annual NCSL Legislative Summit Business Meeting. As a result of the advocacy that is guided by these policies’ positions, NCSL is recognized as a formidable lobbying force in state-federal relations.

NCSL Staff in Washington, D.C.

  • Molly Ramsdell | 202-624-3584 | Director
  • Erlinda Doherty | 202-624-8698 | Budgets and Revenue
  • Susan Frederick | 202-624-3566 | Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety
  • Abbie Gruwell 202-624-3569 | Commerce and Financial Services
  • Ben Husch | 202-624-7779 | Natural Resources and Infrastructure 
  • Jon Jukuri  | 202-624-8663 | Labor, Economic Development and International Trade
  • Haley Nicholson | 202-624-8662 | Health
  • Margaret Wile | 202-624-8171 | Human Services
  • Austin Reid | 202-624-8678 | Education