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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04)

December 21, 2020

Press Release

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.”

Background

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

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