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 November 15-19

This week's events:

  • Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
    • Analysis: After many weeks of AYA advocating for our priorities in the reconciliation package, President Biden has finally signed into law the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (formerly known as BIF). We dissected the new law to identify key wins for our generation, and summarized here. AYA's Executive Director released a statement on the passage of the framework here.
    • WH Briefings: AYA attended debrief meetings with the White House to learn more about specific areas of the bill that pertain to young people.
  • Hill meetings: Since there is still more work to be done on the never-ending reconciliation package (BBBA), AYA has been zooming in for hill meetings with top priority offices in the Senate. This week we met with the offices of Sen. Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Brown (D-OH) to focus on some of their work as members of the Finance committee. We shared our members top health priorities in the reconciliation package, including lowering drug costs, expanding Medicaid and improving Medicare to move us steps closer to a nation-wide single-payer system. We also discussed ways that our Members could partner with them to share their experiences with the healthcare system. If you have any stories to share or would like to join us for virtual Hill meetings, please email info@joinaya.org.
  • Medicare for All advocacy: On Friday AYA health lobbyist Emily Shetty joined allies for our monthly coalition meeting to strategize on how to expand Medicare and advocate for Medicare for All.
  • PSLF meetings with USED: Over the last few weeks, AYA has been closely monitoring the recent changes to the PSLF program that has already resulted in some borrowers having their loans forgiven. AYA and our members recently met with the staff at the Department of Education to discuss the ongoing improvements and are building a strong relationship with them to monitor the process and ensure efforts continue to help our members.

Week of October 25-29

This week's events:

  • Press statement on BBB Framework: After many weeks of AYA advocating for our priorities in the reconciliation package, President Biden and Congress finally released a framework that makes historic investments in some areas, like raising the Pell Grant award by $550 per year, but leaves out many of our critical priorities like expanding Medicaid, electrifying the grid, and providing free community college. AYA’s Executive Director released a statement expressing our concerns with leaving these provisions out of a final bill.
  • COP26 discussion with Kristy Drutman: Ahead of the COP26 climate summit starting next week, AYA sat down with youth climate activist Kristy Drutman (also known as @BrownGirl_Green) to talk about the failures of COP26 in including the voices of those disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis, and the need for better representation of these communities. Watch the IG Live recording here.
  • Debt-Free College Week of Action: AYA joined over a dozen of our partner organizations in the Higher Ed, Not Debt (HEND) coalition this week to call on Congress to immediately cancel student debt and enact legislation to make higher education accessible and debt-free for all.
    • Hill Meetings: We joined our coalition partners in lobbying meetings with the offices of Senators Cortez-Masto and Wyden and Rep. Jayapal to share our demands for debt-free college and debt cancellation. Student loan borrowers joined us to tell their stories in the meetings, including AYA member Leah St. Clair.
    • Grassroots advocacy: Borrowers from all across the country took action, shared stories, and tweeted at their members of Congress. There is still time to take action here!
    • Virtual Rally: On Friday, AYA joined a virtual rally for debt cancellation and debt-free college, featuring special guest speakers from NAACP, The Live Movement, 1000 Women Strong, and more.

Week of October 11-15

This week's events:

  • Letter to Democratic leadership on costs of inaction: AYA circulated a letter outlining the costs of inaction for young people if Congress fails to invest in vital higher ed, climate, and healthcare programs in the final reconciliation package. 11 organizations signed on in support of the letter, which was sent to Rep. Yarmuth, Senators Sanders and Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi.
  • Supported MOCs on letter to POTUS for Debt Cancelation: This week, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar sent a letter to President Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging the administration to release the memo to determine the extent of the administration’s authority to broadly cancel student debt through administrative action. AYA showed our support to Ilhan's office and each of the 20 offices that supported the letter.
  • Met with USED to learn about PSLF Overhaul: The PSLF coalition, which AYA is a member of, hosted a call with Ben Miller, a Biden appointee at the U.S. Department of Education, to discuss the changes to the program. In the call, Ben highlighted that the fixes will relax rules around eligibility and what it means to make an eligible payment in order to provide forgiveness to an estimated 55,000 borrowers over the next year. AYA will be working with our members to encourage them to apply for PSLF.
  • Meetings with USED on PSLF: In order to uplift out support for the PSLF changes and showcase our members who have done advocacy work in this area, AYA is requesting a series of meetings with staff at the Department of Education throughout the next few weeks. We encourage all members interested in this issue to reach out to us in the event you’d like to join.