Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Val Demings (10th District of Florida)
December 21, 2020
ORLANDO, FL – Today Rep. Demings will vote for new emergency COVID-19 relief legislation for struggling Americans, small businesses and communities. A summary is below.
Said Rep. Demings, “Today’s COVID relief deal is long-overdue and much-needed. Americans are desperate for financial assistance, and hospitals and communities need immediate support. We have been fighting for additional COVID relief since March, only to see it delayed and reduced over and over by the Senate. $600 per American is important, but it won’t cover rent or other major expenses. I am voting for this relief in the hopes that it can provide a short-term aid to struggling Americans, but I strongly believe that we must do more, and soon.
“Since last spring, House Democrats have offered multiple deals and compromises to get more assistance into the bank accounts of struggling families and small businesses. Our efforts have been denied at every turn, and the American people have paid the costs. Even in recent weeks, multiple bipartisan deals were torpedoed by Senate Republicans seeking to undermine President-Elect Biden’s work to help our economy recover. It is impossible to justify why our Republican colleagues refused over and over to give help to people in crisis. As we move into the new year, I pray that they will remember why they are here: to help people, especially during times of crisis.”
In addition to the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills, the spending package contains $900 billion in emergency coronavirus relief to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people. Among its provisions, the bill provides:
- Funding to distribute safe vaccines to crush the virus;
- $13 billion in increased SNAP and child nutrition benefits to help relieve the COVID hunger crisis;
- A new round of direct payments worth up to $600 per adult and child;
- Extends the eviction moratorium through January 31 and provides $25 billion in rental assistance;
- A $300 per week UI enhancement for Americans out of work;
- $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools and $10 billion for child care assistance to help get parents back to work and keep child care providers open;
- An additional $3.36 billion for GAVI, the international vaccine alliance.
In addition, the legislation funds the ongoing operation of the federal government, including several priorities on which Rep. Demings has led:
- $386 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program
- $132 million for the STOP School Violence Act
- $85 million for grants to improve the NICS firearms background check system.
- Items related to MCO:
- $100 million for TSA scanning equipment
- Fully funds the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams (VIPR); staffing at exit lanes; and the Law Enforcement Officer reimbursement program.
- $30 million for reimbursements to airports for legacy purchases of in-line explosive detection systems.
- $705 million for the Urban Areas Security Initiative, which has funded security projects in Orlando since 2018.
One-page fact sheets on critical Democratic priorities included among the appropriations provisions, the coronavirus relief provisions, and the authorizing matters are here, here, and here respectively.