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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3)

Today Congress passed long awaited COVID-19 relief legislation. As a member of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, Congressman Lipinski joined with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators to craft a COVID-19 relief bill that jumpstarted negotiations and produced an agreement to deliver much needed relief to the American people. The bill passed today includes an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and federal unemployment benefits, along with funding for transportation, public and private K-12 schools, higher education, and other priorities championed by Congressman Lipinski. 

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been working to find solutions in areas of need for the Third District of Illinois and the country,” said Congressman Lipinski. “There is still important work to be done, but I am proud to have been a part of the bipartisan group that crafted most of this legislation and that several provisions I have fought for made it into the final bill. As a former teacher I am especially proud that America’s educational institutions will receive desperately needed federal support and resources. This bill also secures vital funding to support public transit, Amtrak, and other essential transportation that my constituents rely upon.” 

The bipartisan package passed by the House today includes several provisions championed by Congressman Lipinski to support our nation’s students, educators, and schools. Congressman Lipinski has worked to ensure all students, including the 6 million students who attend private schools, are able to access a safe and secure education. 

Highlights of the COVID-19 relief provisions include: 

  • Approximately $60 billion for public health measures including vaccine development, procurement and distribution, as well as COVID-19 testing and contact tracing programs. 
  • An 11-week extension of unemployment benefits.
  • An additional $284 billion for PPP loans to eligible small businesses. This legislation also allows for additional flexibility in use of loans, and corrects problems with the tax treatment of forgiven loans, while ensuring that small businesses with 300 or fewer employees and a decline of at least 25% in gross receipts are eligible to apply for a second forgivable loan.
  • Critical support for our transportation workers and services, including $14 billion to support transit agencies like CTA, Metra and Pace, $1 billion to support intercity passenger rail at Amtrak, and an additional $15 billion for the Aviation Payroll Support Program to prevent layoffs and harmful long term cuts in the airline industry.
  • Another round of stimulus checks worth up to $600 per adult and child, depending on income levels. 

“I know how essential this legislation is to helping our P-12 and higher education institutions safely operate,” said Congressman Lipinski. “Today’s bipartisan agreement prioritizes our most vulnerable students and allows more young people to pursue higher education. By investing in our students and education system, we will help our nation’s economy recover and our communities will benefit for years to come.” 

The legislation includes several crucial education-related provisions championed by Congressman Lipinski including: 

  • $2.75 billion in dedicated relief funding for K-12 non-public schools to address coronavirus related expenses such as educational technology for remote or hybrid instruction, personal protective equipment, and expanding capacity for coronavirus testing. 
  • $22.9 billion in emergency relief funding for students and institutions of higher education, including support for the transition to distance education and financial aid grants to students for tuition, food, housing, and health care.
  • $54.9 billion to help public schools reopen and respond to the coronavirus, including support for HVAC repair to mitigate virus transmission and reopen classrooms.
  • Simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so that more students can access a quality college education. 
A summary of the COVID-19 relief provisions of the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 is available here