Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 133, the Omnibus Appropriations and Emergency Coronavirus Relief Bill:
“For almost a year now, American families have been shouldering the burden of a global health crisis – and the American people are struggling greatly. Not only has the pandemic devastated local economies, but it has made it difficult for many families to make ends meet. Children are facing food insecurity, thousands have lost their jobs as businesses across the country have shuttered their doors, and so many families are on the verge of eviction.
“While I’m deeply disappointed the Republicans refused to adequately provide the funding necessary to meet the challenges the pandemic warrants, this relief package will help at a critical time for so many struggling Americans.
“As we usher in a new year, I stand ready and committed to work with President Biden to ensure we have a government and an economy that sufficiently invests in the American people.”
Today, the House passed an omnibus spending bill consisting of all 12 fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills, coronavirus relief, and authorizations. The legislation is a product of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.
The spending package contains $900 billion in emergency coronavirus relief to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people. Among its provisions, the bill provides:
- Billions in urgently need funds to accelerate the free and equitable distribution of safe vaccines to crush the virus;
- $13 billion in increased SNAP and child nutrition benefits to help relieve the COVID hunger crisis;
- A new round of direct payments worth up to $600 per adult and child — up to $2,400 for a family of four, depending on income
- A $300 per week UI enhancement for Americans out of work;
- $25 billion in critically needed rental assistance for families struggling to stay in their homes and an extension of the eviction moratorium;
- $284 billion for first and second forgivable PPP loans and $20 billion for targeted EIDL Grants which are critical to many smaller businesses on Main Street;
- $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools and $10 billion for child care assistance to help get parents back to work and keep child care providers open; and
- 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
As part of the agreement, Democrats have secured provisions that include:
- Ends surprise billing: The package includes bipartisan, bicameral legislation that will end surprise billing for emergency and scheduled care.
- 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.
- 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.
- Broadband 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. It also includes key Brownley provisions to improve dam safety, to provide equity in resources for our ports, and to ensure proper maintenance and dredging of Ventura Harbor and Channel Islands Harbor.
- Supports servicemembers and military families: The agreement provides for funding above the President’s budget request for programs directly impacting the quality of life for servicemembers, their families, and military communities, and by fully funding the 3.0 percent military pay raise.
- Honors our responsibilities to veterans: The agreement provides $90 billion for VA medical care, including funding to provide homelessness assistance, suicide prevention and outreach, and gender-specific care.
One-page fact sheets on critical Democratic priorities included among the appropriations provisions, the coronavirus relief provisions, and the authorizing matters are here, here, and here respectively.
Issues: 116th Congress