Congressman Rick W. Allen (R-GA-12) today released the following statement after voting in support of the Bipartisan-Bicameral Omnibus & COVID Relief Deal:
“After months of unnecessary delay from Congressional Democrats who put partisan, presidential politics over the American people, COVID-19 relief is finally on its way to workers and families.
“As our nation continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic and Americans are hurting by no fault of their own, I continue to prioritize targeted relief for small businesses, making Operation Warp Speed vaccines widely available, and reopening our schools and the economy.
“While the package is far from perfect and I am irritated by this entire process, it delivers on these urgent goals while denying the Democrats’ liberal wish list demands like direct payments for illegal immigrants and federal prisoner release. The COVID-19 relief package utilizes unused PPP funds to continue helping small businesses and workers, and additionally rescinds $429 billion in unused funding that could have gone to blue state bailouts. The net total is approximately $325 billion – a fraction compared to Speaker Pelosi’s $3.4 trillion Heroes 1 and $2.4 trillion Heroes 2 packages.”
Highlights of the COVID-19 relief package:
Providing Small Business Relief
Provides over $280 billion to reopen and strengthen the Paycheck Protection Program
Creates a simplified PPP loan forgiveness application for loans under $150,000 dollars
Allows employers to deduct PPP related businesses expenses
Extends the repayment period of deferred payroll taxes through December 31, 2021. Penalties and interest on deferred unpaid tax liability will not accrue until January 1, 2022.
Producing and Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines
Provides nearly $20 billion for the production of vaccines and therapeutics, covering the cost for everyone who needs it
Provides $8.75 billion for distribution of vaccines
Provides $3 billion for the national stockpile
Supporting our Working Families and Students
Provides $10 billion in Child Care and Development Block Grant Program
Provides direct payments of $600 per individual/child ($1,200 per married couple)
Extends the refundable payroll tax credit for the mandated paid sick and family leave through March 2021 for employers that continue to offer paid
Provides $82 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund
Helping our Farmers and Ranchers
Provides $13 billion in support to farmers, ranchers, and the agriculture sector
Expanding Rural Broadband
Provides $1.9 billion for the rip-and-replace program for communications providers with 10,000,000 subscribers or less to replace equipment in their communications networks that poses a national security threat.
Provides $300 million for broadband deployment program to support broadband infrastructure deployment, prioritizing unserved areas and rural areas.
Provides $250 million to the FCC to carry out the temporary telehealth pilot program authorized under the CARES Act
Ending Surprise Medical Billing
Ensures properly insured patients do not end up with costly, unexpected charges after going to a hospital or other health care provider
Allows for independent arbitration and dispute resolution between the insurer and provider, leaving the patient out of the process
No threshold for arbitration.
No government rate-setting
Highlights of the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Package:
Includes ALL pro-life protections
Prioritizes our military and modernizes our nuclear stockpile
Funds the border wall
Retains longstanding Second Amendment protections
Rejects Democrat poison pills to defund the police
Provides $80 million for Department of Defense Fort Gordon Individual Training Barracks Complex, Phase 3
Includes robust funding for the critical missions at Savannah River Site
Provides $93.6 million for Corps of Engineers Savannah Harbor Expansion Project