Categories
Saved and Shared Stories

Mike Nova’s favorite articles on Inoreader: Congressman Rose on COVID-19 Relief Bill


Congressman Max Rose issued the following statement on the $900 billion short-term, bipartisan coronavirus relief legislation that is passing the House of Representatives today and expected to be signed into law:

“It’s taken far too long, but I’m glad that we’re finally able to get bipartisan COVID-19 relief across the finish line. In addition to expanded unemployment, stimulus checks and small businesses assistance, I’m proud to have helped secure billions to protect our toll discounts and mass transit, open our schools safely, and accelerate vaccine distribution.

“This compromise bill should have been finished months ago and we all will have to live with the lives lost and human suffering caused by our inability to act for so long. It’s also a horrible indictment of our politics that this ‘compromise’ required cutting the amount spent on those struggling the most: the unemployed, small businesses, and state and local governments. Yes, it is important to get whatever money we can out the door now, but this bill must be a down-payment, not the end of federal assistance.

“Unfortunately, in these past few days we’ve seen Washington, D.C. again turn into its worst self; a thousand-plus page bill negotiated by a select few behind closed doors presented just hours before a vote, ladened with special interest giveaways. This broken system cannot continue.

“For those in need of this relief, there will be more details on how to access it in the coming days and weeks as these programs are implemented. Until my final day in office, I pledge to continue to update you and share that information.

“The end of this long coronavirus nightmare is hopefully within our sights, but we cannot let up. We must continue to fight this with everything we have and be there for those who have lost so much and put their lives and livelihoods on the line. Please continue to wear masks, be safe, and socially distance—especially around the holidays, as tough as it is. Serving the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn has truly been the honor of my lifetime and I won’t stop fighting until the end.”

The funding package includes:

·        Accelerating 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.

·        Ends surprise billing: The package includes bipartisan, bicameral legislation that will end surprise billing for emergency and scheduled care.

·        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 communities.  

·        Rental 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.

·        Strengthens 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.

·        Direct 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.

·        Nutrition 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 insecure.

·        Education 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.

·        Historic 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.

The post Congressman Rose on COVID-19 Relief Bill appeared first on Shorefront News.

Mike Nova’s favorite articles on Inoreader