NTU urges all Senators to vote “YES” on the following amendments to S. Amdt. 891, the fiscal year (FY) 2021 reconciliation legislation, should the amendments receive consideration on the Senate floor.
- Amendment #950 from Sen. Crapo (R-ID): This amendment would reduce funding for state and local governments to around $100 billion, from $350 billion in the current bill. This is a far more fiscally responsible result for taxpayers, especially given many state governments have substantial Rainy Day Funds and/or are experiencing much stronger than expected revenue projections.
- Amendment #984 from Sen. Braun (R-IN): Limits direct payments by beginning to phase out payments at $50,000 in household income for single filers and $100,000 for joint filers. NTU has noted before that the $1,400 direct payments as currently written would go to many households that are not in need of the additional cash.
- Amendment #1092 from Sen. Portman (R-OH): Reduces the federal boost to unemployment insurance benefits from $400 to $300 per week. This would maintain the level of unemployment insurance consistent with current law ($300 per week) and agreed to on a bipartisan basis in the December bill.
- Amendment #1015 from Sen. Paul (R-KY): Would strike a section related to funding for multiemployer pension plans. NTU has pointed out that the pension plan bailouts are unrelated to the immediate COVID-19 crisis.
Transportation and Infrastructure
- Amendment #892 from Sen. Hagerty (R-TN): Strikes funding for public transportation agencies. With a nearly $2 trillion price tag, this amendment would reduce the overall cost of this bill.
- Amendment #893 from Sen. Hagerty (R-TN): Strikes $1.7 billion in grants for Amtrak that is not directly related to COVID-19 relief.
- Amendment #937 from Sen. Johnson (R-WI): Limits expansion of premium assistance for consumers to 2021. If policymakers want to provide additional support to individuals in the ACA marketplaces, they should at the very least keep the boost temporary and targeted.
- Amendment #1006 from Sen. Toomey (R-PA): This would strike a section that increases penalties on pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Medicaid program beyond 100 percent of the price of a drug. The COVID-19 crisis is the worst time for policymakers to push for higher taxes on medical innovators, though this policy would have negative and unintended consequences at any time.
- Amendment #935 from Sen. Johnson (R-WI): Cuts $135 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Humanities, which already received $75 million in supplemental appropriations from the CARES Act.
- Amendment #936 from Sen. Johnson (R-WI): Cuts $200 million in funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which already received $50 million in supplemental appropriations from the CARES Act.
- Amendment #938 from Sen. Johnson (R-WI): Cuts $135 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, which already received $75 million in supplemental appropriations from the CARES Act.
- Amendment #993 from Sen. Johnson (R-WI): Cuts $175 million in funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which already received $75 million in supplemental appropriations from the CARES Act.