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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman French Hill (AR-02)

Hill Votes to Pass Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief and Fund the Government

Washington, December 21, 2020 WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, the House of Representatives passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which provides targeted COVID-19 relief of approximately $900 billion, which is composed of new appropriated funds of approximately $325 billion after rescinding $429 billion in Federal Reserve 13(3) authority and repurposing unused PPP funds. Further, the Consolidated Appropriations Act provides $1.4 trillion to fully fund the government through the next fiscal year. After the vote, Rep. French Hill (AR-02) issued the following statement: “This long-awaited package is the result of a substantial bipartisan effort by my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to provide the people of Arkansas with much-needed relief. “While Speaker Pelosi could have accepted a very similar bill from House and Senate Republicans in July, passing this relief package shows a bipartisan desire to support American families and small businesses and give them assurances and confidence before the end of the year. “Together, we face an unprecedented and invisible enemy. Every steppingstone to defeat this virus is crucial, and this bill is a key component of our victory. “I thank my colleagues for coming together to prevent a government shutdown and for finally producing relief to help carry Arkansas families, workers, small businesses, and educational institutions through this pandemic.” In response to the challenges created by COVID-19, this legislation will: Bolster the Economy: $325 billion for small businesses, including $284 billion for first and second forgivable PPP loans, dedicated set-asides for very small businesses and lending through community-based lenders like Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and expanded PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) nonprofits, including destination marketing organizations, and local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters. $20 billion for new EIDL Grants for businesses in low-income communities. $15 billion in funding for entertainment venues, movie theaters, and museums that are experiencing significant revenue loss. Expands list of eligible expenses to include covered operations; property damage costs that are not covered by insurance; covered supplier costs; and covered worker protection expenditures (PPE). PPP borrowers will be allowed to take tax deductions for covered business expenses. $13 billion to support farmers and the agriculture sector, including assistance under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) and funding directed to programs that support local producers and new and beginning farmers. Support Working Families: Economic Impact Payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 per year, as well as a $600 payment for each child dependent. $286 billion for an additional $300 per week in unemployment insurance, through March 14. $25 billion for a rental assistance (to be distributed through state and local agencies) and an extension of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium through January 31. $69 billion for vaccine procurement and distribution and monies sent to states for testing, tracing, and COVID mitigation programs. Incentivizes employers to give employees $5,250 per year toward their student loans. Employees will no longer have to pay a tax on the amount given towards their student loans for the next five years. Provide Flexibility for our Governors: State and local governments will now have until December 31, 2021 to spend aid provided by the CARES Act. $7 billion total in broadband funding $2 billion to replace foreign manufactured equipment $300 million for rural $250 million for telehealth $82 billion for aid to schools and universities, including K-12 and higher education. $20 billion for purchase of vaccines that will make the vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it, $8 billion for vaccine distribution, and $20 billion to assist states with testing. MIL OSI USA News