JANUARY ADVOCACY UPDATE
Our first Advocacy call for 2022 will be this Tuesday, January 18, 2021, at 12 PM ET.
Here is the Zoom Info:
Meeting ID: 758 7062 5171
We will be releasing the 2022 NAWBO National Advocacy Agenda, so we hope you can all join us!
WE NEED YOUR THOUGHTS!
- Commenting on Broadband Grant Programs
On January 7, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced it is requesting public comment on a wide range of policy and program considerations associated with new broadband grant programs. Here are some questions they have:
- What are the most important steps NTIA can take to ensure that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s broadband programs meet their goals with respect to access, adoption, affordability, digital equity, and digital inclusion?
- How best can NTIA ensure that all voices and perspectives are heard and brought to bear on questions relating to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s broadband programs? Are there steps NTIA can and should take beyond those described above?
- What types of data should NTIA require funding recipients to collect and maintain to facilitate assessment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs’ impact, evaluate targets, promote accountability, and/or coordinate with other federal and state programs? Are there existing data collection processes or templates that could be used as a model? How should this information be reported and analyzed, and what standards, if any, should NTIA, grant recipients, and/or sub-grantees apply in determining whether funds are being used lawfully and effectively?
- How should NTIA and grant recipients verify that funding is used in a way that complements other federal and state broadband programs?
NAWBO is considering sending a letter, so if you have any concerns or feedback, please email email@example.com.
- In the news yesterday, but not necessarily in Congress, the Supreme Court blocked on Thursday a Biden administration requirement that larger businesses require employees to be vaccinated or have a masking and testing policy. Still, it allowed a similar vaccine mandate to go into effect for around 10 million health care workers.
- In a 6-3 order, the justices halted an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule for larger businesses (100+ employees) to either require vaccines or have a masking and testing policy early this year.
- And in a 5-4 order, the justices allowed a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services vaccination mandate for health care workers at federally funded health care facilities.
- In other news, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee this week that they are preparing to raise interest rates, among other measures, to tamp down inflation.
- On Wednesday this week, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General testified before the House Small Business Committee. The dialogue continues to be around fraud in PPP and EIDL. According to Republicans, this proves that SBA cannot handle direct lending. However, this is the first time Mr. Ware stated that SBA is more prepared than ever to do direct lending. He also repeatedly explained how we will not honestly know the amount of fraud until 2024 when the EIDL loan payments are due.
- Could there be another round of COVID relief aid?
- With the need to fund the federal government yet again by February 18th, there are some early talks about pandemic aid being added with ideas such as ways to boost testing, expand the availability of vaccines, invest in therapeutics, and ways to help small businesses that still need financial help.
- There’s also talk about another round of tax credits for businesses that offer paid leave to employees affected by COVID.
Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at 10:00 AM “The Power, Peril, and Promise of the Creative Economy”
The Committee on Small Business will hold a remote hearing titled: “The Power, Peril, and Promise of the Creative Economy.” The hearing will provide recommendations for investments in key infrastructure and provide a roadmap for bringing arts, culture, and creativity into the center of long-term recovery. To view a livestream of the hearing, click here.
Want to hear more about NAWBO Advocacy efforts or get involved? Contact Elle Patout via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.