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Rice Votes for Bipartisan COVID Relief and Government Funding Bill

Bipartisan agreement provides new stimulus checks, expanded unemployment, and reauthorizes the PPP program for small businesses

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Washington, December 22, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) released the following statement after voting last night in favor of the bipartisan COVID relief and government funding agreement, H.R. 133, The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The legislation passed the House of Representatives and the Senate last night. 

“This agreement is far from perfect, but in this case something is absolutely better than nothing and I am pleased we have finally passed new relief for our constituents and avoided a government shutdown after months of inaction by the Senate,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “This bill will provide new direct payments to individuals and families, expanded unemployment insurance, and provide new resources to help small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat. Unfortunately, it does not provide enough resources for state and local governments who are also in desperate need of relief. Our communities will need further federal assistance as we continue to combat this virus, and I will keep fighting for the resources Long Island needs to recover when Congress returns in the New Year.”

Key relief items in H.R. 133 include:

  • Economic Impact Payments of $600 for individuals ($1,200 for joint filers), as well as a $600 payment for each child dependent.
  • An additional $300 per week for all workers receiving unemployment benefits, through March 14, 2021.
  • Authorizes $138 billion in unallocated funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expands the program to increase eligibility.
  • Includes $20 billion in new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grants for businesses in low-income communities.
  • $69 billion to fight the virus, including $20 billion for vaccine development and procurement, $9 billion for vaccine distribution, $3 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile, and $300 million to get the vaccine to high-need areas, including communities of color.
  • $13 billion to increase SNAP benefits by 15 percent, provide additional funding for food banks and programs that serve seniors, and ensure college students have access to SNAP.

The full text of H.R. 133 can be found here.

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