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Congress Takes Big Steps Towards Passing Build Back Better Act

November 8, 2021

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Passes Following Intense Back and Forth Between Progressives and Moderates

Following hours of intense negotiations Friday within the Democratic House majority, progressives agreed to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill in exchange for a public commitment from moderates to support the Build Back Better Act, if the expected analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) aligns with current cost projections. This agreement led to the final passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill late Friday night, sending it to President Biden for his signature, and a procedural vote on the Build Back Better Act to prepare for the eventual final vote which is currently scheduled for next week.

The $150 billion for home and community-based services remains in the Build Back Better Act, but there will likely be changes made as it advances through the Senate. Lutheran Services in America will continue to advocate to keep key provisions that would help address the acute workforce shortage and expand access to home and community-based services including:

  • $150 billion to incentivize states to deliver or improve home- and community-based service programs, including through increasing wages and benefits for direct care workers;
  • $1.48 billion for a grant program funding strategies to recruit and retain direct care workers; and
  • the provisions of the WORK NOW Act to create a $50 billion grant program supporting nonprofits in paying wages and benefits.

Please join us in this effort through our advocacy alert.

Biden Administration Releases Vaccine Mandates for Workers

On Thursday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released long-anticipated mandates for worker vaccinations. Both rules have a number of intricacies, but broadly speaking, the CMS rule applies to health care facilities operating all or part of their services under Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation (CoPs), and the OSHA rule applies to employers with 100 or more employees. LSA is finalizing summaries of the full scope and details of the mandates, but more information can be found on the CMS rule here, and on the OSHA rule here.

If you have a specific question about the mandates that you cannot find online, please e-mail Josh Dubensky at jdubensky@lutheranservices.org and Sarah Dobson at sdobson@lutheranservices.org.

By Sarah Dobson, Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, and Josh Dubensky, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Lutheran Services in America Disability Network