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Texts of Biden Executive Actions Now Available

As noted earlier yesterday, President Biden was expected to take a number of executive actions on a host of issues on his first day, including COVID-19, DACA, and student loan repayments, among others.  He did take those executive actions after being sworn in and the  texts of those executive actions are now available.

  • The text of the Presidential Memorandum on “Preserving and Fortifying DACA” is available here.
  • The text of the Presidential Proclamation ending the “Muslim ban” is available here.
  • The text of the Executive Order on a review of regulations that negatively impact the climate issued during the Trump Administration is available here.
  • The text of a memo from the White House Chief of Staff to agency heads halting “midnight regulations” is available here.
  • A statement regarding student loan repayments is available here.  The Education Department has already updated its website to reflect an extension on the repayment pause through September 30.

Texts of other executive actions taken by the new President are available here.

Biden To Take Executive Actions Today

Shortly after being sworn today, President Biden is expected to take a set of executive actions that seeks to jump start the process of addressing his priority areas.

Among the steps Biden is expected to take are asking the Department of Education to consider extending the moratorium on student loan repayments through September 30, issuing a presidential memo asking the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to “preserve and fortify protections for Dreamers,” and ending the “Muslim ban”.

Read more about the executive actions here.

Descriptions of the 17 actions that he is expected take are available here.


5,593-page Bill Now Ready

A few hours ago, the text of the combined package containing the FY2021 omnibus spending bill and the next COVID relief legislation was released.  The text of the 5,593-page bill is available here.

Needless to say, it will take some time to go through the bill to pull out the provisions of most relevance to UW. However, provided below are some initial points of interest.



$82 Billion for Education

  • $4.05 billion to Governors for education purposes, with $2.75 billion set aside for private education funding
  • $54.3 billion for public K-12 education
  • $20.2 billion for public and private non-profit higher education, going directly to institutions
    • the distribution of funds will be based on a combination on a host of factors, such as the number of full-time Pell students, the number of total Pell students, the number of full-time students, the number of total students
    • With these funds, institutions would have to spend at least the same amount they spent on student emergency grants with CARES funding.
  • $681 million for for-profit higher education
  • $1.7 billion for MSIs and $113.5 million for institutions with the highest need
  • $113.5 million for those institutions with the greatest need caused by COVID-19

FAFSA Simplification

  • Reduces total questions on the FAFSA from 108 questions to a maximum of 36 questions
  • Reduces the Department of Education’s lengthy financial data verification process by instead using data from the Internal Revenue Service
  • Creates simpler Pell Grant eligibility guidelines for maximum and minimum awards, so many applicants will know if they will get a maximum or minimum grant to go to college
  • Seeks to more clearly define terminologies to help families understand the questions being asked.
  • Higher level of income protection allowance.
  • Allows incarcerated students to become eligible for Pell.
  • Eliminates drug conviction and Selective Service registration eligibility thresholds.

Health Provisions

  • $9 Billion for CDC and states for vaccine distribution
  • $22 Billion for state for testing, tracing, and mitigation
  • Medicare:
    • injects $3 billion into the physician fee schedule in 2021, resulting in payment increases across the board helping all Medicare providers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
    • continues the current Alternative Payment Model (APM) thresholds for two additional years, allowing more providers to qualify for the 5 percent APM payment who would otherwise have been disqualified because of statutory increases in threshold amounts
    • delays the 2 percent sequester cuts that were supposed to resume January 1, 2021, for three additional months
  • Enacts HR 3425, Medicare GME treatment of hospitals establishing new medical residency training programs after hosting medical resident rotators for short durations. This section allows hospitals to host a limited number of residents for short-term rotations without being negatively impacted by a set permanent full time equivalent (FTE) resident cap or a Per Resident Amount (PRA).
  • Enacts Promoting rural hospital GME funding opportunity (HR 8892). This section makes changes to Medicare graduate medical education (GME) Rural Training Tracks (RTT) program in order to provide greater flexibility for rural and urban hospitals to partner and address the physician workforce needs of rural areas.

Tax/HR Provisions

  • Energy efficient commercial buildings deduction. This provision allows an increased deduction for buildings that meet above-industry standards of energy efficiency in the year they are placed in service. The energy efficiency standards are updated and the deduction rate is indexed to inflation.
  • Transition from deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses to increased income limitation for lifetime learning credit. After 2020, this provision repeals the qualified tuition deduction and replaces it by increasing the phase-out limits on the Lifetime Learning credit to hold taxpayers harmless.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) extended and expanded Beginning on January 1, 2021 and through June 30, 2021, among other things, the provision, allows colleges, universities and entities who’s primary purpose is to provide health care to participate.
  • Five-year extension of exclusion for certain employer payments of student loans.
  • Certain charitable contributions deductible by non-itemizers. This provision extends and modifies the non-itemizer charitable deduction for 2021 and increases the maximum amount that may be deducted to $600 for married couples filing a joint return (while non-married filers or married filers who file separately are limited to $300).
  • Modification of limitations on charitable contributions. This provision extends for one year the increased limit ($600) from the CARES Act on deductible charitable contributions for corporations and taxpayers who itemize.
  • Temporary special rules for health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements. This provision provides further flexibility for taxpayers to rollover unused amounts in their health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022. This provision also permits employers to allow employees to make a 2021 mid-year prospective change in contribution amounts.
  • Temporary changes to Flexible Savings Accounts. This provision provides further flexibility for taxpayers to rollover unused amounts in their health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022. This provision also permits employers to allow employees to make a 2021 mid-year prospective change in contribution amounts.
  • Codifies Education guidance and states that emergency grants that students received from the CARES Act or any other emergency grant funding from institutions, states, the federal government, or any other entity for emergency purposes would not count as gross income for tax purposes.
  • IRS and Education to work together to ensure that the sharing of taxpayer data for purposes for federal student aid does not create unintended problems with respect to confidentiality.

Other pandemic-related provisions

  • SNAP benefits extended to college students who are eligible for federal or state work study programs or have $0 EFC for federal student aid formula purposes, and are at least half-time
  • Second round of PPP loans
  • $300 per week unemployment payments for 11 weeks (through March 14, 2021)
  • $600 per person in direct payments (including for children), phased out at $75,000 per person/ $150,000 per couple
  • $25 billion for rental assistance and eviction moratorium through January
  • $1.3 billion for broadband connectivity
  • Extends the date by which state and local governments much make expenditures with CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund awards from December 30, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
  • Transportation aid: $15 billion for airlines, $14 billion for mass transit, $10 billion for state highways, $2 billion for airports and $1 billion for Amtrak.
  • Broadband: $3.2 billion for low income broadband expansion



  • NIH $42.9 billion, an increase of $1.25 billion
    • $3.118 billion, an increase of $300 million, for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research;
    • $560 million, an increase of $60 million, for the BRAIN Initiative;
    • $541 million, an increase of $8 million, for research related to opioids through the HEAL Initiative;
    • $220 million, an increase of $20 million, for Universal Flu Vaccine Research;
    • $3.09 billion, an increase of $20 million, for HIV/AIDS Research, including funding for the Centers for AIDS Research as part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative;
    • $65 million, an increase of $5 million, for the INCLUDE Down syndrome research initiative;
    • $12.5 million for research on firearm violence prevention;
    • $44 million, an increase of $5 million, for the Office of Research on Women’s Health; and
    • Funding for new initiatives, including $10 million for research on premature births, $10 million for research on tick-borne diseases, and $50 million for research on artificial intelligence to address chronic diseases
  • NSF $8.5 billion, an increase of $208.4 million above the FY20
  • CDC, $7.9 billion an increase of $125 million ($56 million, an increase of $5 million, for public health workforce and career development)
  • NIOSH $345 million, an increase of $2.5 million
  • AHRQ $338 million, level funded
  • NOAA Sea Grant $75 million, an increase of $2 million above FY20
  • DOE EERE $2.86 billion, an increase of $72 million above FY20
  • DOE Office of  Science $7.026 billion, an increase of $26 million above FY20
  • DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency $427 million, an increase of $2 million above FY20
  • NEA $167.50 million, an increase of $5.25 million
  • NEH $167.5 million, an increase of $5.25 million
  • Pell $6,495 for the maximum Pell Grant, an increase of $150
  • SEOG $880 million
  • Federal Work Study $1.2 billion
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting $475 million, in 2023 advance funding, an increase of $10 million
  • IMLS $257 million, a $5 million increase
  • State Dept $100.7 million for combatting wildlife trafficking
  • USGS $25.7 million is included for continued development and expansion of the ShakeAlert West Coast earthquake early warning (EEW) system
  • USGS CRUs $25 million level funding

The House is debating the bill now and the Senate is expected to follow suit later this evening.

As we noted above, this is a very big piece of legislation, one that we will continue to review in the days to come.  We will continue to update this blog.  Please check back for additional updates.


Deal Reached, One Day CR

A deal has been reached on an almost $1 trillion COVID relief bill which will be rolled into an omnibus FY21 spending package. The legislation is believed to include support for airline workers, expanded unemployment benefits, funding for contact tracing and testing, vaccine rollout, schools, stimulus checks, and more. Details are not yet publicly available.

A one day continuing resolution will likely be passed to give lawmakers time to actually debate and pass the agreed-upon spending package in each chamber and send to the President before funding expires at midnight tonight.

As noted above, the exact details are not yet available since there is no actual text that has been circulated.  Check back for more updates.