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Coronavirus

APLU COVID-19-Related Advocacy Efforts

As the United States federal government continues working to address both the public health and economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, APLU’s Office of Governmental Affairs is providing timely analysis and advocacy tools to support our nation's public research universities. APLU is working with congressional leaders, agency officials, and the higher education community to develop emergency funding measures and policy solutions to meet the needs of our public universities.

APLU has developed federal advocacy priorities for addressing the critical needs of colleges and universities. The top line emergency funding requests include:

Additionally, APLU staff have worked with a range of partners in the higher education community to respond to other funding and policy issues that have arisen from the spread of COVID-19. You can find a full list of these resources here.

COVID-19 Legislative Response

Since the first cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the United States in early 2020, Congress has passed four key pieces of legislation aimed at controlling the spread of the virus and lessening the economic fallout from the pandemic.

APLU continues to urge members of Congress and the new Administration to provide critical emergency financial assistance for higher education institutions as they deal with the public health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase I: On March 6, 2020, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 6074) which provided $8.3 billion to boost the U.S. public health response to the virus.

Phase II: Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, a second supplemental funding package on March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201). The multi-billion dollar bill provided up to 12 weeks of paid leave for many workers, established free testing for the virus, and provided a range of supports for those impacted by the spread of COVID-19. (The paid leave provisions in the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020.)

Phase III: Congress negotiated a third supplemental spending package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) later in March—the bill, proving more than $2 trillion in emergency relief, was enacted on March 27, 2020. APLU released a statement noting that the bill improved throughout the process, and praised the critical support for students and universities. The level of funding for higher education, however, is not commensurate with the immense financial challenges facing public institutions.

APLU’s Office of Governmental Affairs developed a detailed analysis of the measure. The analysis outlines important provisions and funding to APLU institutions.

Phase IV: After months of stalled negotiations, Congress finally passed additional COVID-19 supplemental relief as a part of their Fiscal Year 2021 omnibus appropriations package. The massive $2.4 trillion package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 133), includes $900 billion for COVID-19 supplemental relief funding through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (beginning on pg. 728 of the bill). APLU released a statement urging Congress to pass the bill, while recognizing the urgent need for additional support.  

APLU’s Office of Governmental Affairs developed a detailed analysis of the measure. The analysis outlines important provisions and funding to APLU institutions.