Bill Provides Stimulus Checks, Extended Unemployment Benefits, Small Business Relief and Accelerated Vaccine Distribution
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the U.S House of Representatives for passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, a nearly $1 trillion emergency relief package to support American workers, families and small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
"This pandemic is not over. Michiganders still need our help to get through this pandemic," Congressman Kildee said. "While a safe and effective vaccine brings us hope, the coronavirus is still ravaging our country. This past week, we witnessed more deaths from COVID-19 over a single 24-hour period than at any other point during this pandemic. This additional economic relief for workers, families and small businesses is long overdue. I strongly support additional economic stimulus payments to families, extended unemployment insurance benefits for unemployed workers, additional relief for small businesses and more resources to help with the distribution of coronavirus vaccines. While this bipartisan compromise does not include everything I would have hoped for, it is a down payment that will provide much-needed relief to those struggling. I look forward to working with the incoming Biden administration to provide additional relief to struggling Americans in the weeks ahead."
This relief package will:
Distribute Direct Payments to Americans: The bill will provide a new round of direct payments worth up to $600 per adult and child, also ensuring that mixed-status families receive payments.
Extend Unemployment Benefits: The bill will extend federal pandemic jobless insurance programs by 11 weeks and provide a $300 per week additional federal unemployment benefit for three months.
Provide Additional Funding for Small Businesses: The bill will provide eligible small businesses, non-profits and live event venues with an additional $315 billion in the form of emergency loans and grants that can be forgiven if businesses keep workers on the payroll, instead of laying them off. This includes a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for eligible entities.
Accelerate Vaccine Distribution: 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.
Support for Families and Children: The bill will provide $82 billion for schools and $10 billion for childcare to help parents be able to return to work. It also includes $25 billion for rental assistance and an extension of the eviction moratorium. Finally, the bill ensures working families and parents whose income was impacted by the pandemic can use either their 2019 or 2020 income to calculate their Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, whichever one provides the most relief.
Fight Hunger: The bill provides a 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding. It also includes $75 million for expanding the "Double Up Food Bucks' program to ensure SNAP recipients can purchase frosts and vegetables.
End Surprise Medical Billing: When a person is sick, the last thing they should have to worry about is a surprise medical bill. The package includes legislation that will end surprise medical billing for emergency and scheduled care, keeping the patient out of the middle of a billing dispute.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Congressman Kildee has worked tirelessly to prioritize direct support for Michigan workers, families and small businesses. Kildee previously helped pass three other bipartisan coronavirus relief packages to respond to the pandemic, including:
H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which included $8.3 billion in emergency funds to accelerate vaccine funding and buy more personal protective equipment for frontline health care workers. This bill was signed into law by the President.
H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which included paid sick and family leave, strengthened food assistance and free coronavirus testing for all that need it. This bill was signed into law by the President.
H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion emergency relief package, which included support for American workers, families and small businesses. This bill was signed into law by the President.