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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH)

Tonight, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) voted to pass bipartisan legislation to provide additional COVID-19 relief to Americans and fund critical government services and programs, including many New Hampshire priorities that he has strongly championed. 

“It’s about time,” said Congressman Pappas. “I am pleased that we passed a bipartisan compromise package to get badly-needed support to Granite Staters, but there is simply no reason it should have taken this long to act. I do not believe we would have arrived at this day without the strong push from rank-and-file members of both parties who knew we couldn’t go home for the holidays without delivering crucial aid to our families, small businesses, and communities.”

“No compromise is perfect, but this deal represents an important bridge to the new year where we will have to redouble our efforts to address the pandemic and help those who continue to struggle. I will continue to push leaders in both parties to put politics aside and focus on the people we serve. This package reflects the kind of compromise I’ve advocated for and we must see more of this the months ahead.”

“Subsequent packages must include additional support for workers, families, small businesses, and those on the front lines. They also must include funding for our local cities and towns that have seen their budgets blown open by increased COVID-19 costs and decreased revenues. This will stave off cuts to critical services, like police, fire, and education; stop layoffs; and prevent tax hikes on working families.”

“I will continue to work with anyone – Republican or Democrat – to fight for additional support for Granite Staters so we can weather this storm.”

Pappas-led provisions* in this bill include efforts to expand eligibility for PPP loans for small business and small non-profits, increased flexibility for small businesses, expanding critical infrastructure projects and supporting clean water resources, strengthening international medical partnerships to lessen our dependence on China, developing a clean energy economy, and providing more and better care for veterans and military families 

The COVID-19 package incorporates key priorities that Congressman Pappas has advocated for, including:

Providing Direct Assistance to Granite Staters Unable to Work

  • An additional round of direct payments of up to $600 for each adult and child to help Americans make ends meet
  • $300 per week in enhanced unemployment support for those unemployed due to COVID-19
  • $25 billion in rental assistance for families struggling to stay in their homes
  • Extension of the eviction moratorium for one month to keep people in their homes

Supporting Frontline Workers and Expediting Vaccine Distribution

  • $69 billion for COVID-19 testing tracing, vaccine distribution, and mental health services 
  • $4.5 billion for state and local health departments to provide critical care for Granite Staters
  • $3 billion for hospital and care provider reimbursement
  • $4.25 billion for substance abuse and mental health services, including $1.65 billion for the Substance Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant

Uplifting Granite State Small Businesses Through the Expansion of PPP

  • $284 billion more in PPP and small business support for Main Street businesses struggling to pay rent and workers
  • A second round of PPP loans for businesses with less than 300 employees and revenue losses of at least 25%. 
  • Expanded use of PPP funds to cover the cost of PPE, operational expenditures like software, HR, and accounting, and supplier costs. 
  • Expanded PPP eligibility for small nonprofits and local chambers that support local small businesses *
  • Streamlined PPP forgiveness for loans under $150,000 with a one-page certification document
  • $20 billion in additional funding for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to assist small businesses with dramatic cash flow problems
  • Language to ensure PPP and EIDL funds are fully deductible and do not count towards the gross income of a business
  • $15 billion in grants for live event venues, including museum and theater operators, who have experienced severe impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • An extension and expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit, raising the cap to $10,000 per employee per quarter and includes Rep. Pappas’s legislation to allow employers who receive a PPP loan to also qualify for the ERTC for wages not paid for with forgiven PPP proceeds *
  • $7 billion in funding to support expanded broadband access, especially in our rural communities.

Protecting Critical Services

  • Providing $10 billion in emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service by converting the loan USPS received in the CARES Act to direct funding
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  • Extension of the non-itemized, above-the-line charitable deduction for 2021 to incentivize giving to nonprofits on the front lines of the pandemic
  • $10 billion for child care to get parents back to work and keep child care open 
  • $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools
  • Extension of the deadline to spend CARES Act funds for another year so local governments and states do not lose resources
  • $2 million to strengthen medical partnership with Israel to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and fight this pandemic

The Omnibus appropriations package includes New Hampshire priorities that Congressman Pappas has championed, including:

Boosting New Hampshire Small Businesses 

  • $2 billion for career, technical, and adult education programs, an increase of $70 million above the 2020 enacted level. 
  • $30 million in funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission, an increase of $5 million above the 2020 enacted level.
  • $3 million for the Northeastern States Research Cooperative to support the ecological and economic strength of the Northern Forest region, an increase of $1 million above the 2020 enacted level.
  • Authorization of additional H-2B visas for fiscal year 2021 for temporary nonagricultural labor to address the urgent needs of seasonal employers
  • Permanent decrease of the federal excise taxes for beer, wine, and distilled spirits.

Providing for Veterans and Military Families 

  • $90 billion for medical care for veterans, including: 
    • $313 million is for suicide prevention outreach activities
    • $661 million for gender-specific care for women
    • $1.9 billion for homeless assistance programs
    • $504 million for opioid abuse prevention
    • $300 million in rural health initiatives
  • $4 million to improve DNA processing for POW/MIA identification *

Supporting New Hampshire’s Environment 

  • $100 million increase in funding for PFAS clean-up at military bases across the country, including:
    •  $15 million to continue the nation-wide CDC study and assessment of the health impacts of PFOS/PFOA contamination in drinking water.
  • $53 million in funding for EPA’s efforts to develop drinking water and cleanup standards for PFAS, an increase of $10 million above the 2020 enacted level

Expanding The Granite State’s Infrastructure 

  • Expediting ongoing water infrastructure projects including the Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River Navigation Project, and work in Rye Harbor *
  • Extension of clean energy tax incentives, including:
    • Two-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit for solar power
    • One-year extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind power
    • Extension of offshore wind tax credits through 2025
  • Expansion of research on renewable energy technologies like solar, wind, geothermal, and water power through the Department of Energy.
  • Inclusion of Rep. Pappas’s legislation, H.R. 5905, the Joint Long-Term Storage, to establish a joint program between the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to integrate current federal efforts to develop long-term energy storage technologies *

Ending Surprise Medical Billing which protects patients when they are billed after receiving care unknowingly from physicians or hospitals that are out of network.