“Today, Congress approved H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 to continue providing much-needed relief to our Nation during the public health crisis caused by Coronavirus COVID-19. H.R. 133 will allocate over $900 billion in federal funding to help address the needs of the American people amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This relief package would extend the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law in March, but at half the former rate with just $300 per week for 11 weeks ending in March 2021. The bill would also expand and provide $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Employee Retention Tax Credit.
Specifically, it extends the Payroll Support Program (PSP), which provides loans to the struggling airline industry and other transportation services. Additionally, it provides funding for hospitals and healthcare providers, and testing. The language also includes millions in grants for vaccine development, infrastructure, and distribution. This package would provide $82 billion for education funding and $614 million for Nutritional Assistance Programs for Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Furthermore, the bill would ensure an extension of rental assistance and student loan forbearance provisions which were previously set to expire on January 31, 2021. Lastly, it provides a provision that would include $600 direct payment, per person and child, for most eligible Americans.
I commend Congress on reaching a bipartisan agreement to provide this long-awaited relief package. While this legislation provides critical funding to address some of the most difficult challenges caused by COVID-19, there remain additional unmet needs, especially for our state and local governments. I hope Congress will continue to work together to provide much needed relief to struggling Americans.”