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Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind)

Monday, December 28, 2020

Bipartisan Legislation Renews PPP, Boosts Resources for Vulnerable Families, Supports Vaccine Distribution, Bans Surprise Medical Bills

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after President Trump signed bipartisan legislation that includes COVID-19 relief and other key reforms for workers, families, and small businesses:

“Help is on the way for Hoosier workers, families, and small businesses to get through the coronavirus crisis and emerge stronger than ever.

“I’m relieved Congress and the president came together to renew PPP to save small businesses and jobs, ending months of partisan obstruction by Speaker Pelosi. Direct financial relief for workers and families, much-needed support for foster youth and at-risk parents and grandparents, and additional resources to distribute safe and effective vaccines and defeat COVID-19 will also make a real difference in people’s lives.

“The bipartisan legislation includes additional key reforms like banning surprise medical bills and improving access to hospice care in rural communities. And it represents a major setback for Speaker Pelosi’s radical agenda, blocking efforts to defund the police and bail out fiscally irresponsible cities and states. In signing this bill into law, President Trump is delivering on his promise to put the American people first.”

BACKGROUND

The House and Senate last week passed H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and President Trump signed the bill into law on Sunday evening.

COVID-19 Relief for Workers, Families, and Small Businesses:

  • Renews successful Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
    • Gives small businesses experiencing severe revenue reductions the opportunity to apply for a second forgivable loan, with $284 billion in funding.
    • Simplifies the forgiveness process for loans under $150,000, and allows small businesses to deduct PPP loans.
    • Increases loan amount for restaurants and hotels, and makes chambers of commerce and newspapers eligible.
    • Walorski co-sponsored the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act (H.R. 8265) and signed a discharge petition to bring it to the House floor after Speaker Pelosi repeatedly blocked a vote to renew PPP.
  • Provides resources to defeat COVID-19.
    • $20 billion to purchase vaccines, ensuring they are available to Americans at no cost.
    • $8 billion to support distribution of safe and effective vaccines authorized by the FDA.
    • $20 billion to assist states with testing and other measures to combat COVID-19.
  • Supports foster youth and vulnerable families.
    • Provides temporary additional funding to support older foster youth, kinship caregivers such as grandparents raising grandchildren, at-risk pregnant women and new parents, state courts, adoptive families, and foster care prevention services.
    • Allows older youth to remain in foster care during the pandemic.
    • Walorski introduced the bipartisan Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R. 7947) with Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support Chairman Danny Davis (D-Ill.).
  • Provides second round of direct payments to Americans.
    • Builds on economic relief provided in the CARES Act, sending direct payments of $2,400 to a typical family of four – up to $600 per individual ($1,200 per married couple) and $600 for each child under the age of 17.
    • Full amount is available for individuals with income $75,000 ($112,500 for heads of household) and couples with income below $150,000.
    • Rebate amount will be reduced by $5 for each $100 the income level exceeds these thresholds.
  • Assists child care providers and schools in safely reopening.
    • $10 billion in grants to child care centers to help care providers safely reopen.
    • $82 billion to assist schools and universities with reopening for in-person learning.
  • Temporarily extends enhanced unemployment benefits.
    • Provides additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits through March 14, 2021.
    • Extends and phases out federal unemployment benefits when state unemployment runs out and temporary benefits for self-employed and gig workers.
  • Provides tax relief to teachers who purchase pandemic-related supplies.
    • Clarifies that personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are eligible for the educator expense deduction.
    • Walorski introduced the bipartisan Supporting Educators During COVID-19 Act (H.R.8520) with Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.).

Other Key Provisions in Year-End Legislation:

  • Bans surprise medical bills.
    • Protects patients from unexpected medical bills from out-of-network providers.
    • Establishes a fair process to resolve payment disputes between insurers and health care providers.
    • Empowers consumers by providing a true and honest cost estimate that describes which providers will treat them, the cost of the services, and provider network status.
  • Prevents Medicare coverage gaps.
  • Improves access to hospice care in rural communities.
    • Allows patients entering hospice care to keep their doctor from a federally qualified health center or rural health center.
    • Walorski introduced the bipartisan Rural Access to Hospice Act (H.R. 2594) with Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.).
  • Addresses nationwide affordable housing crisis.
  • Funds Community Health Centers.
    • Extends funding for public health programs – including Community Health Centers, National Health Service Corps, Teaching Health Centers, and Special Diabetes Programs – for three years.
  • Strengthens national defense and supports troops.
    • Provides the military with the resources needed to defend our nation, including a 3 percent pay raise for servicemembers.
  • Blocks radical left-wing wish list items.
    • Prevents taxpayer-funded bailout of fiscally irresponsible city and state governments.
    • Preserves pro-life protections, including prohibitions on taxpayer-funded abortion.
    • Rejects efforts to defund the police.
    • Prevents elimination of long-standing 2nd Amendment protections.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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