Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32)
December 21, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32) today voted to pass a bipartisan COVID relief package. The relief package was included with bipartisan Appropriations bills which will fund the government through September 30, 2021. The package provides funding for vaccine distribution, more aid to small businesses, assistance for airline industry workers and expands unemployment benefits.
“I have been clear since the beginning of this pandemic on the need for bold action to help North Texans who are struggling through no fault of their own,” said Allred. “This deal is long overdue but I’m glad we could come to an agreement, especially before the holidays. I fought hard for many of the provisions in this package. As we move forward with the new Biden Administration, I hope this spending agreement will foster a productive year ahead for Congress. A once in a generation pandemic calls for us to work together on a once in a generation response. I will continue to do whatever I can to ensure North Texas gets the resources we need.”
Allred has repeatedly called for action to help the American people and was supportive of the bipartisan Senate framework that helped jumpstart negotiations of the COVID relief package. Allred also voted twice to pass the Heroes Act to provide relief to North Texans.
In addition to funding for COVID testing and vaccine distribution, the COVID relief package includes bipartisan, bicameral legislation to end surprise medical billing for emergency and scheduled care, an effort Allred has long championed.
The bipartisan COVID deal:
Accelerates vaccine distribution: The package provides billions in urgently needed funds to accelerate the free and equitable distribution of safe vaccines to as many Americans as possible as soon as possible, implements a strong national testing and tracing strategy with billions reserved specifically for combating the disparities facing communities of color and supports our heroic health care workers and providers.
Provides strong support for small business: The agreement includes over $284 billion for first and second forgivable PPP loans, including important changes to make the program work better for restaurants. It also includes $15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions and $20 billion for targeted EIDL Grants which are critical to many smaller businesses on Main Street.
Provides additional direct payments: The package provides a new round of economic impact payments worth up to $600 per adult and child.
Restores enhanced Unemployment Insurance benefits: The agreement adds $300 per week in UI enhancement, providing a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed, including those connected to the gig-economy and independent contractors.
Extends rental assistance: The package provides $25 billion in critically needed rental assistance for families struggling to stay in their homes and extends the eviction moratorium.
Provides additional assistance for airline industry workers: The agreement provides an additional $15 billion in payroll support to airlines and restores jobs for thousands of furloughed airline industry workers.
Supports paid sick leave: The agreement provides a tax credit to support employers offering paid sick leave, based on the Families First framework.
Provides nutrition assistance for hungry families: The agreement includes $13 billion for SNAP and child nutrition benefits to help relieve the historic hunger crisis that has left up to 17 million children food insecure.
Supports our schools and child care providers: The agreement provides $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools, including support for HVAC repair and replacement to mitigate virus transmission and reopen classrooms and $10 billion for child care assistance to help get parents back to work and keep child care providers open.
Strengthens Earned Income Tax Credit & Child Tax Credit: The agreement helps ensure that families who faced unemployment or reduced wages during the pandemic are able to receive a strong tax credit based on their 2019 income, preserving these vital income supports for vulnerable families.
See the summary of the COVID relief package from the Appropriations Committee here.