Kaptur Statement on Coronavirus Relief

December 21, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), released the following statement after the House passed a new round of bipartisan coronavirus relief. The legislation is expected to be signed into law in the coming days:

 

“American families should not have had to wait this long for coronavirus relief,” said Rep. Kaptur. “It is a national disgrace that Senate Republicans refused to act for over half a year while COVID-19 ravaged our nation, infecting over 17.2 million Americans and killing over 310,000, resulting in devastating public health and economic crises affecting every single person in this country.”

 

“Despite Democrats’ efforts for larger relief payments, Republicans flatly refused and limited this legislation to a payment of $600 in direct relief even as coronavirus continues to infect more people on a daily basis than at any other point in the pandemic. While the direct aid is half of what we were able to approve last Spring, the need has surely not subsided. Additionally, the fact that this bill extends exactly zero dollars to state and local governments to aid in their coronavirus response is a disgrace; a failure of government specifically sought by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans who ought to be ashamed. All of this just three years after Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut bill for corporations and the wealthy.”

 

“While this coronavirus deal is far from perfect – it is also far better than nothing. It is the second largest stimulus package ever passed by Congress, second only to the CARES Act, including a $300 boost in weekly unemployment insurance, more than $300 billion in small business aid, $25 billion for rental assistance, and significant funding for hospitals, schools, and vaccine distribution. However, what remains clear is that the American people continue to struggle -- families unable to put food on the table, essential workers left to fend for themselves, students and graduates unable to pay their loans, small businesses closing their doors, millions losing their jobs, and thousands getting sick and dying each day. I will continue to fight tooth and nail for Northern Ohio communities and working people across the country in the new Congress. This cannot be the last round of coronavirus relief the American people receive. It is not enough.”

 

Democratic priorities included in the COVID-19 relief package:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Global Health: Democrats secured 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.

 

###

 

kaptur.house.gov