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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Lee Zeldin (1st District of New York)

December 21, 2020

Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin issued the following statement following House passage of the Senate Amendment to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 133), which includes government funding through September 30, 2021, and additional coronavirus relief:

“Throughout December, as Congress’ new COVID-19 relief and annual appropriations legislation was being negotiated, I worked closely with House and Senate leadership, and the White House and other officials in the Administration, to secure important local priorities for Long Island and desperately needed coronavirus relief. It’s an honor to have delivered on these vital wins for Long Island and help ensure our communities get back to a normal way of life as soon as possible in the wake of coronavirus, and I look forward to continuing to fight for the priorities most important to our communities.

“However, moving forward, there must be a better way to legislate rather than 5,500+ page spending bills released just hours before a vote. The American people deserve nothing less than a thoughtful and deliberative budget process defined by transparency and open debate.”

The Senate Amendment to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 133) includes: 

  • Long Island Priorities, such as: 
    • Plum Island: Language to permanently repeal the 2008 federal law that required Plum Island to be sold to the highest bidder;
    • Carlls River, Patchogue River and Forge River Sewer Projects: A one-year extension of the deadline for the use of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding, saving these three local sewer projects; 
    • Fire Island to Montauk Point Project (FIMP): Provides authorization for the construction of this project, which includes essential dredging and shoreline projects and spans 83 miles of coastline;
    • Hashamomuck Cove Coastal Storm Risk Management Project in Southold: Provides authorization for the construction of this project, which will reduce coastal storm damage;
    • Reel Point Preserve on Shelter Island: Directs the expedited completion of the feasibility study and, if justified, the preconstruction of this project, which will focus on navigation and shoreline stabilization; 
    • Goldsmith Inlet in Southold: Directs the expedited completion of the feasibility study and, if justified, the preconstruction of this project, which will focus on improving navigation; 
    • Lake Montauk Harbor in Montauk: Directs the expedited completion of the feasibility study and, if justified, the preconstruction of this project, which will focus on improving navigation;
    • Wading River Creek in Riverhead: Authorizes a feasibility study for this project, which will focus on hurricane and storm damage risk reduction, flood risk management, navigation, and ecosystem restoration;
    • Preserves T-Band for Local First Responders: Allows law-enforcement, fire officials, and EMS to continue using the T-Band spectrum to operate their radios for day-to-day life saving operations, by repealing the provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which mandates the sale of the T-Band spectrum;
    • Long Island Sound Program: Provides $30.4 million for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Long Island Sound Geographic Program. This is an over seven fold increase beyond the level of this program’s appropriation when Representative Zeldin, Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus, first entered Congress; 
    • National Estuary Program: Provides $31.88 million for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Estuary Program which includes $700,000 per estuary, supporting two NY-1 estuaries: Long Island Sound and Peconic Estuary;
    • National Sea Grant Program: Provides $75 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program. Representative Zeldin and Representative Joe Courtney D, CT-2) have led the annual appropriations request in the House; 
    • Brookhaven National Laboratory: Provides $7.03 billion for the Department of Energy Office of Science and $427 million for the Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program; 
    • Veterans: Provides $661 million for gender-specific care for women veterans at VA facilities, including $1 million for peer support programs for women veterans and $7.5 million for the Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits Center of Excellence to assist veterans with burn pit claims at the VA; and
    • Community Health Centers (CHCs): Provides authorization for CHCs for three years, including Sun River Health (formerly HRHCare), which has 6 locations throughout NY-1. 
  • Critical coronavirus relief, such as: 
    • Vaccines: Includes $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines that makes the vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it; 
    • Paycheck Project Program (PPP):
      • Tax Deductibility for Small Businesses: Ensures recipients of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) can deduct expenses covered using PPP’s forgivable loans;
      • Extends the first round of PPP for businesses that have not previously received a loan;
      • Provides a second round of PPP for businesses with less than 300 employees experiencing more than a 25% reduction in revenue;
      • Expands the eligibility for PPP to 501(c)(6) entities, such as Discover Long Island and the Hauppauge Industrial Association (HIA-LI); 
    • Fishing Industry: Includes $300 million in assistance to fisheries participants to help mitigate coronavirus-related economic impacts; and
    • Assistance for Individuals and Families: Provides direct stimulus checks, rental assistance, unemployment assistance, food assistance and more. 

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