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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (21st District of New York)

December 21, 2020

Press Release

Washington, D.C.  – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has announced that she will vote in favor of House passage of the 4th major legislative phase of Congress’ emergency coronavirus response later this afternoon. This most recent package will provide economic relief to small businesses, individuals, and families across the North Country.

“Throughout the past several months, I have consistently advocated for direct federal support for our hospitals and community health centers, small businesses, farmers, schools, individuals and families who have faced significant challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I have spoken with countless local elected officials, community leaders, and constituents to identify their specific needs and raise their issues at the federal level. As a result, this package that I will vote in favor of today prioritizes small businesses and families who need relief. After months of long negotiations, and Speaker Pelosi repeatedly refusing to come to the negotiating table, these important legislative results should have happened months ago. I remain focused on delivering results to the North Country that address this public health crisis and fuel a strong economic recovery.”

Specifically, the bill provides:

Support for Small Businesses

Direct Payments to Individuals and Families 

  • $600 direct payments to the American people and $600 per dependent child, with the payments phasing out for individuals who make over $75,000 and couples making over $150,000

  • Similar to the first round of payments, the vast majority of Americans will receive their payments automatically with the IRS basing payments on 2019 tax returns

Support for Vaccine Distribution and Other Healthcare Items 

  • $68 billion for procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine, testing and tracing, and mental health funding including:

    • $20 billion for purchase of vaccines that will make the vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it

    • $8 billion for vaccine distribution

    • $20 billion to assist states with testing

    • $20 billion distribution from existing provider relief fund

  • Includes a version of Congresswoman Stefanik’s Opioid Workforce Act to to provide 1,000 new residency positions at teaching hospitals to promote physician-focused partnerships between rural and urban hospitals  

  • Protects patients from surprise medical bills while enhancing price transparency for medical services

Funding for Schools

Assistance for Working Families

  • $10 billion for child care assistance to working families and support for child care providers as they safely reopen and operate through the pandemic

  • Temporarily increases SNAP benefits by 15% for six months while providing additional funding for Older Americans Act home-delivered meals for seniors, addressing pandemic-related food insecurity

  • Includes Congresswoman Stefanik’s COVID-19 WIC Safety and Modernization Act, which will modernize the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program and address issues of accessibility caused by the pandemic. 

  • Tax relief for small businesses and working families through an expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit, an extension of the FFCRA paid leave tax credits, and provisions to preserve the Earned Income and Child Tax Credit for families financially impacted by the pandemic

  • Extends Unemployment Insurance eligibility, including the PUA coverage for gig workers and the self-employed, with an added $300 per week through March 14, 2021

  • $25 billion for emergency rental assistance targeted to struggling families and an extension of the CDC eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021

Support for Farmers and Ag Businesses  

  • $13 billion in direct payments to farmers to help cover pandemic-induced losses 

  • Additional funding directed to programs that support local producers including new and beginning farmers, dairy producers, dairy processors via reimbursement for donated dairy products, small and medium size meat producers, and state departments of agriculture 

Funding for Infrastructure Needs 

  • $45 billion for Transportation funding, including direct support to the motorcoach sector and MTA

  • $7 billion in broadband funding, including:

    • Nearly $2 billion to replace foreign manufactured broadband equipment that poses national security threats 

    • $3.2 billion for an FCC initiative to connect low-income Americans

    • $300 million to build out rural broadband 

    • $250 million for the FCC telehealth grant program

    • Fully funds the Broadband DATA Act to improve FCC maps and precisely target areas that lack broadband access

Check the Congresswoman’s website here for a comprehensive overview of the package and for regular COVID-19 updates.