Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a bipartisan majority (359 to 53) of the House of Representatives to approve a COVID relief bill.
“At long last, desperately needed COVID relief is headed to American families,” said Rep. Calvert. “For months I’ve been working with my colleagues to get a bipartisan deal done to address the serious health and economic impacts of the pandemic. I’m grateful a bipartisan deal is now finally in hand after Democrats dropped their political demands to include trillions of dollars for programs unrelated to the pandemic. I can’t help but think of the pain and economic damage that could have been avoided if Speaker Pelosi had chosen a path other than holding critical aid hostage for her liberal ‘wish list.’ Combined with Gov. Newsom’s unscientific lockdown policies, Democrats have caused avoidable devastation to a growing number of our small businesses and workers. The relief being provided by this bill can’t come soon enough for these Americans in need.”
COVID Relief Provisions
Small Business Relief:
- The bill extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to give small businesses, many of which have their operations severely impacted due to no fault of their own, forgivable loans to keep them open and employees on payroll. The bill gives businesses experiencing severe revenue reductions an opportunity to apply for a second draw PPP loan.
- In addition to previously eligible businesses and organizations, the bill expands PPP eligibility to 501(c)(6) organizations, including chambers of commerce. The bill codifies federal rules that ensure churches and faith-based organizations are eligible for PPP loans.
- To help our struggling restaurants, the bill includes a 100-percent deduction for business meal food and beverage expenses provided by a restaurant that are paid or incurred in 2021 and 2022. Currently, the deduction is available for only 50 percent of such expenses.
- Specific resources are provided for entertainment venues, movie theaters, and museums that are experiencing significant revenue loss, as well as another round of airline employee and contractor payroll support.
Protecting the Health of Families as America Reopens:
- Expanding upon the vaccine doses already acquired through Operation Warp Speed, the bill includes $20 billion for the purchase of additional vaccines that will be available at no charge.
- The bill also includes $8 billion to facilitate vaccine distribution as well as $20 billion to assist states with testing.
- To support our hospitals and medical centers the bill provides a $20 billion distribution from the existing healthcare provider relief fund, and $250 million for the continued expansion of telehealth.
Direct Assistance for American Families in Need:
- The bill provides direct aid to Americans with another round of Economic Impact Payments. Adults will receive $600 each and $600 per child. To ensure the payments only go to those most in need, there is a phase out for individuals with more than $75,000 in income and $150,000 for couples. The bill includes safeguards to prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving checks.
- To help those out of work and suffering under Gov. Newsom’s lockdowns, the bill temporarily extends a number of unemployment programs created by CARES Act that were set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. The bill provides unemployed individuals an additional $300 per week for 10 weeks from December 26, 2020-March 14, 2021.
Reopening Schools for In-Person Learning and Addressing the Impact of Lockdowns:
- To safely resume in-person education the bill includes $82 billion in funding for schools and universities, including $2.75 billion in designated funds for private K through 12 education.
- The bill provides $10 billion for grants to childcare centers to help providers safely reopen and give families more childcare options as working parents head back to the workplace.
- While significant progress has been made over past several years in treating opioid addiction, many of the positive trends have been reversed because of impact of COVID lockdowns. To address the problem the bill includes $4 billion for substance abuse treatment and prevention programs.
Keeping Families Fed and in their Home:
- To ensure Americans have food on the table, the bill provides funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a program that serves over 700,000 older Americans monthly.
- The bill includes $25 billion in temporary and targeted rental assistance for individuals who lost their source of income during the pandemic.