D.C. —Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi (D-CA) issued the following statement after reaching agreement on
emergency coronavirus relief and omnibus package:
“Today, we have
reached agreement with Republicans and the White House on an emergency
coronavirus relief and omnibus package that delivers urgently needed funds to
save the lives and livelihoods of the American people as the virus
“We are going to
crush the virus and put money in the pockets of the American people. As
part of the agreement, Democrats have secured provisions that include:
vaccine distribution and crushing the coronavirus: The bipartisan COVID relief package finally recognizes that
we cannot get our economy working unless we can get the coronavirus under
control. The package provides billions in urgently need funds to
accelerate the free and equitable distribution of safe vaccines to as many
Americans as possible as soon as possible, to implement a strong national
testing and tracing strategy with billions reserved specifically for
combating the disparities facing communities of color, and to support our
heroic health care workers and providers.
surprise billing: The package includes bipartisan, bicameral
legislation that will end surprise billing for emergency and scheduled
- Strong support for small business: Democrats secured
critical funding and policy changes to help small businesses, including
minority-owned businesses, and nonprofits recover from the pandemic. The
agreement includes over $284 billion for first and second forgivable PPP
loans, expanded PPP eligibility for nonprofits and local newspapers, TV
and radio broadcasters, key modifications to PPP to serve the smallest
businesses and struggling non-profits and better assist independent
restaurants, and includes $15 billion in dedicated funding for live
venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions. The agreement
also includes $20 billion for targeted EIDL Grants which are critical to
many smaller businesses on Main Street.
- Community Development Financial
Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions: The
agreement includes dedicated PPP set-asides for very small businesses and
lending through community-based lenders like Community Development
Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions
(MDIs); $9 billion in emergency U.S. Treasury capital investments in CDFIs
and MDIs to support lending in low-income and underserved communities,
including persistent poverty counties, that may be disproportionately
impacted by the economic effects of the COVID–19 pandemic; and $3 billion
in emergency support for CDFIs through the CDFI Fund to respond to the
economic impact of the pandemic on underserved low-income and minority
assistance: Democrats secured $25 billion in
critically needed rental assistance for families struggling to stay in
their homes and an extension of the eviction moratorium.
the Low Income Housing Tax Credit: The package
enhances the LIHTC to help increase affordable housing construction and
provide greater certainty to new and ongoing affordable housing projects.
payment checks: Democrats secured a new round of direct
payments worth up to $600 per adult and child, also ensuring that
mixed-status families receive payments.
- Strengthened Earned Income Tax Credit & Child Tax Credit:
The agreement helps ensure that families who faced unemployment
or reduced wages during the pandemic are able to receive a strong tax
credit based on their 2019 income, preserving these vital income supports
for vulnerable families.
- Supports paid sick leave: The agreement
provides a tax credit to support employers offering paid sick leave, based
on the Families First framework.
- Employee Retention
Tax Credit: The agreement
extends and improves the Employee Retention Tax Credit to help keep
workers in the jobs during coronavirus closures or reduced revenue.
- Enhanced Unemployment Insurance benefits: Democrats averted
the sudden expiration of Unemployment Insurance benefits for millions and
added a $300 per week UI enhancement for Americans out of work.
assistance for hungry families: Democrats secured $13
billion in increased SNAP and child nutrition benefits to help relieve the
historic hunger crisis that has left up to 17 million children food
and child care: The agreement provides $82 billion in
funding for colleges and schools, including support for HVAC repair and
replacement to mitigate virus transmission and reopen classrooms, and $10
billion for child care assistance to help get parents back to work and
keep child care providers open.
expansion of Pell Grants: The package
includes the largest expansion of Pell Grant recipients in over a decade,
reaching 500,000 new recipients and ensuring more than 1.5 million
students will now receive the maximum benefit.
access: The agreement invests $7 billion to
increase access to broadband, including a new Emergency Broadband Benefit
to help millions of students, families and unemployed workers afford the
broadband they need during the pandemic.
- Fights the
climate crisis: The agreement includes sweeping clean
energy reforms, R&D enhancements, efficiency incentives, and extends
clean energy tax credits to create hundreds of thousands of jobs across
the clean economy. The package also phases out superpollutant HFCs,
positioning the U.S. to lead the world in avoiding up to 0.5 degree
Celsius of global warming.
- WRDA: The agreement includes the bipartisan Water Resources
Development Act of 2020, creating good-paying jobs strengthening and
improving the vital water infrastructure that Americans rely on while
unlocking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
Health: Democrats secured an additional $3.36
billion for a total of $4 billion for GAVI, the international vaccine
alliance, recognizing that we are not truly safe until the whole world is
safe from the coronavirus.
final agreement does not include several dangerous Republican proposals,
including a long-demanded GOP provision that could unjustly put the health of
workers at risk and take away their legal recourse, as well as an 11th hour
attempt to sabotage the incoming administration’s ability to stabilize the
economy and save jobs.
“State and local
governments will certainly need additional funding to prevent the senseless
layoffs of heroic essential workers and critical service cuts. The agreement
provides some important new targeted funds for state and local government
functions that will help alleviate their overall budget burdens. These
targeted funds include the emergency resources for schools, $27 billion for
state highways, struggling transit agencies, Amtrak and airports, $22 billion
for the health-related expenses of state, local, tribal and territorial
government, and an additional year of eligibility for expenses under the CARES
Coronavirus Relief Fund.
relief in this agreement, the second largest in history only to the CARES Act,
is an important first step that Democrats look forward to building on under the
new Biden-Harris Administration to meet the remaining needs of the American
people during this historic health and economic crisis.
“The House will
move swiftly to pass this legislation immediately, so it can quickly be sent to
the Senate and then to the President’s desk for his signature. With the
horrifying acceleration of daily infections and deaths, there is no time to
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