Action Reports

Stay up-to-date

Every week, your lobbyist Ally writes regular action reports to keep you informed on what she’s up to on the Hill.

Week of June 7-11

This week's events:

  • Met with the White House’s office of Public Engagement to discuss youth-related priorities including COVID-19 vaccinations for young people, and to introduce AYA and share our 2021 legislative agenda.
  • Worked with several offices of members of Congress to provide feedback on bills related to lowering drug costs, making college more affordable, and improving pathways to the workforce.
  • Monitored four hearings on Capitol Hill that did a deep dive on the HHS and Ed budgets, and monitored two separate hearings on climate change and building resilient communities in the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis and the House Homeland Security Committee. These hearings are important for AYA to monitor as they give us insight into how the Members of Congress talk about the issues we care about and where we can support or advocate against the policies they are putting forth in these bills.
  • Attended the #CancelStudentDebt voices event led by several of AYA’s allies in the higher ed space, including Student Debt Crisis, Higher Ed Not Debt, Next Gen, and Young Invincibles. Heard from student borrowers as they discussed personal struggles with student debt and explained how cancellation would improve their quality of life, as well as Senator Schumer, Alyssa Milano, and Senator Warren who continue to fiercely advocate for the immediate cancellation of $50,000 in student debt for all borrowers. AYA will continue to uplift the campaign.

Week of June 1-4

This week's events:

  • Hosted a Student Debt Relief Week of Action:
    • Letter to President Biden: AYA sent a letter directly to the White House urging President Biden to cancel student debt immediately, specifically via executive authority granted by Congress under section 432(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1082(a), which grants the Secretary the authority to modify, "... compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand, however acquired, including any equity or any right of redemption." Letter was also shared with Senator Schumer’s office, who has been elevating this issue on social media.
    • Led #CancelStudentDebt Action Campaign: AYA members sent over 850 emails, 26 Tweets and 7 calls to elected officials calling on them to cancel student debt using whatever government action necessary.
    • Hosted/Organized #CancelStudentDebt Twitter chat: Further uplifting this campaign, we hosted a #CancelStudentDebt twitter chat with our coalition partners, AYA members, and the public to highlight all of the benefits for young Americans if Congress and/or POTUS were to cancel student debt.
  • Met with Congressional Offices on Capitol Hill: Continuing our meeting marathon with members of Congress, AYA met with the offices of Reps. Keller (R-PA), Letlow (R-LA), Castro (D-TX), and Takano (D-CA). Discussed specific priorities in the higher ed space with each office, notably doubling the Pell Grant and increasing access and affordability for two and four year colleges. Inquired about members’ positions on student debt cancellation and loan relief initiatives.
  • Attended the Higher Ed, Not Debt Coalition Meeting: AYA attended the HEND Coalition monthly meeting to learn about the exciting things our coalition partners are working on to advance higher ed policies. We discussed opportunities for organizations to participate in the various rulemakings the Department of Ed has announced it will initiate over the next several months to undo many of the harmful policies the previous administration put into place that harm borrowers. (“Rulemakings” = the process by which the administration decides how to implement laws Congress has passed.) We'll be working closely with our allies to participate in upcoming ED hearings and arrange AYA member testimonies and public comments.

Week of May 23-28

This week's events:

  • Met with the following offices of members of the House Education and Labor Committee: Chairman Scott (D-VA), Reps. Good (R-PA), Mrvan (D-IN), Grothman (R-WI), Owens (R-OH), and Harshbarger (R-TN). Discussed increasing Pell grants, ensuring multiple pathways to higher education, and making college more affordable and accessible for all students, working to find common ground on crucial higher ed policies. This week's meetings kicked of a marathon of Hill meetings to discuss our education, healthcare, and climate change priorities.
  • Actively monitored hearing by the House Energy & Commerce committee, "The CLEAN Future Act and Drinking Water: Legislation to Ensure Drinking Water is Safe and Clean." The CLEAN Future Act, one of AYA's priority bills, will help invest in a 21st Century green economy. The hearing allowed members the opportunity to further examine provisions related to investments in clean drinking water infrastructure and the removal of existing lead service lines that have disproportionately endangered communities of color.
  • Analyzed and responded to President Biden’s fiscal year 2022 (FY22) budget request, which is a blueprint of what this Administration would like to see Congress fund in its spending bills. AYA has been actively working to ensure our 3 priority areas are included in these funding requests, and will use Biden’s budget as the basis for conversations on Capitol Hill going forward in the appropriations process to ensure our programs receive the highest funding levels possible.