Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04)
December 21, 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, year-end legislation that funds annual federal government operations and allocates COVID-19 relief. U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) released the following statement:
“It’s been a long negotiating process, but I believe we’ve got a winning end product. In addition to the overdue and much-needed COVID-19 relief, the appropriations bills fund our military and the border wall, reinstate the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), don’t remove any pro-life protections, and much more while still coming in under the budget caps we’d set, something that hasn’t happened in several years. It’s an imperfect process – these bills should’ve been passed months ago – but it’s the best we’ve got under the current situation. I voted for them and hope to see them signed into law soon.”
The funding breakdown for COVID-19 relief includes:
- $600 stimulus checks per individual/child, capped at $75,000 gross adjusted income per individual ($150,000 for married couples). These payments will be based on 2019 tax returns.
- $280 billion to reopen and strengthen the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Businesses with fewer than 300 employees and that have had a 25 percent reduction in revenue are eligible for a second round of payments.
- $20 billion for the production of vaccines and therapeutics, covering the cost for everyone who needs it.
- $45 billion in transportation assistance, including $15 billion for passenger air carriers to retain employees.
- $300 million for the broadband deployment program to support rural broadband infrastructure, and $250 million to the FCC to carry out the temporary telehealth pilot program authorized under the CARES Act.
- $13 billion in support to farmers, ranchers and the agriculture sector.
The funding breakdown for the annual appropriations bills includes:
- $732 million for rural broadband
- Disaster relief for farmers and ranchers
- Increased funding for federal, state and local law enforcement
- A 3 percent pay raise for all military personnel
- Restrictions on border security
- $34 billion for Defense Health programs for servicemembers
- Increased grant programs supporting small businesses
- $1.375 billion in new border wall funding
- $17.1 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund
- $103 million for improvements to border patrol facilities
- $1.4 billion for Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service wildfire suppression operations
- Full funding for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT)
- All prior-year pro-life funding restrictions
- $8.064 billion for military construction and family housing projects
- $1.9 billion to prevent veteran homelessness
- $2 billion for highway infrastructure grants