Dear AACS Members:
On October 1st, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, a revised version of the Democrats’ $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. Introduced by Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), the HEROES Act completely excludes any student attending an AACS member school from receiving any additional aid or any member school from receiving any additional support. The exclusion of our schools and students from the bill sends a clear signal that certain Members of Congress do not value the lives of our students, which happen to be disproportionately minority and predominantly women, single parents, and those who identify as LGBTQ and/or BIPOC. Nor do they care about supporting ALL students and ALL institutions during a global pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has previously stated that the House proposal will fail in the Senate. Although President Trump announced this week that he called for an end to stimulus talks until after the election, informal discussions continue and the time is now to weigh in, given the potential for negotiations to start in earnest again or a potential “Lame Duck” package in November after the election.
It is critical that AACS member schools reach out to their respective Congressional Members and urge them to support a stimulus package that provides funding and support for our students. I cannot stress enough how vital it is for you to contact your respective Representatives. As a local leader whose institution will be profoundly impacted by this legislation, your Member of Congress will develop their view of the bill based on your input, and either seek to support, oppose, or amend the bill based on how it will affect their constituents. Every contact we make matters, and our voice will be heard! As a constituent and employer, your voice carries significant weight with policy makers.
We have made this easy for you: please click here to use the AACS Phone2Action system to auto generate an appropriation communication to your House Member and Senators (based on zip code of your institution(s)], asking your Member to urge appropriators and House Leadership to include our students in a final package.
Please contact us if you have any questions or need additional clarification on this matter. Once again, our sector of higher education is officially under attack, and it is imperative that we stand up and fight for our institutions, our students, and the well-being of our students.
AACS Government Relations Committee