Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Sam Graves (6th District of Missouri)
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06) released the following statement after the House passed the Bipartisan-Bicameral Omnibus & COVID Relief Deal:
“While the Paycheck Protection Program expired back in August, the COVID-19 pandemic clearly hasn’t ended. In some ways, things have become even more difficult for many Americans,” said Graves.
“This relief bill is desperately needed right now, providing targeted assistance to struggling small businesses and working families while speeding up vaccine distribution and the development of more treatment options. Simply put, it gets help where we need it now and sets America up for a faster return to normal, to get businesses back open and folks back to work.”
The Bipartisan-Bicameral Omnibus & COVID Relief Deal does the following:
- Reopens the highly successful Paycheck Protection Program for a second round of applications and provides $284 billion in additional funding for struggling small businesses
- Makes eligible 501c6s, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), housing cooperatives, newspapers, broadcasters, and radio stations
- Repeals the CARES Act provision that requires PPP borrowers to deduct their EIDL Advance from their PPP loan forgiveness amount
- Codifies federal rules that ensure churches and faith-based organizations are eligible for PPP loans
- Provides $20 billion dollars to restart and extend the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Grant for small businesses in low-income communities
- Creates a process for existing EIDL Advance grantees that received less than $10,000 dollars to reapply for the difference between what they received and the maximum EIDL Advance Grant of $10,000 dollars
- Provides a $600 one-time economic impact payment to qualifying adults and children with safeguards to prohibit illegal aliens from receiving payment
- Temporarily extends a number of unemployment programs created by CARES Act that expire Dec. 31, 2020
- Provide unemployed individuals an additional $300 per week for 10 weeks from December 26, 2020-March 14, 2021
- Extends and phases-out Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which is a temporary federal program covering self-employed and gig workers, to March 14 through April 5, 2021
- Extends the tax credit through March 2021 for employers that continue to offer paid sick and family leave to their employees
- Provides billions to speed up vaccine distribution, increase COVID-19 testing, help out our health care providers, and expand telehealth services
- Helps save rural hospitals by letting them become a new Rural Emergency Hospital, which gives them the Medicare funding and flexibility to offer health care services their community needs.
- More specifically, the policy creates a new, voluntary Medicare payment designation that allows struggling Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) or small, rural hospitals with less than 50 beds to convert to a Rural Emergency Hospital (REH).
- This would preserve beneficiary access to emergency medical care in rural areas that would otherwise be left with nothing if their CAH or rural hospital closed.
- Extends the time period, from December 30, 2020 to December 31, 2021, in which State and local recipients of the existing U.S. Treasury distributed CARES Act Sec. 5001 Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) can make eligible pandemic expenses. This allows more of the already distributed $150 billion in CARES Act funds to be utilized.
- Gives colleges and schools $82 billion to assist with reopening for in-person learning
- Provides additional money for grants to childcare centers to help providers safely reopen
- Helps farmers with $13 billion for direct payments, purchases, and loans to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
- $7 billion for increasing broadband internet access, including $300 million for building out rural broadband
The bill also funded the government through the next year and included the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA), a bill initially introduced by Graves earlier this year. The bill also includes $1.375 billion in new funding for building the wall and for additional border security and enforcement. It will now go to the President for his signature.
Graves also voted in favor of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which was signed into law on March 18, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act which was signed into law on April 24, 2020.