Crapo Supports New COVID Assistance, Government Funding
Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) issued the following statement today after voting in support of an additional round of coronavirus relief legislation and an end-of-year funding package that will keep the federal government open for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2021:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across our nation for many months. The relief package we passed today may not include a perfect wish list of items for either side of the political spectrum. But it does what I have said needed to happen all along: it takes meaningful, bipartisan and targeted steps toward providing relief for those most negatively impacted by this terrible virus.
“Today, we also funded the federal government through the end of Fiscal Year 2021 without resorting to continuing resolutions to do so. Although, again, not perfect, this funding contains good policy measures to provide certainty to the Armed Forces and other federal government agencies. It will help our military maintain its readiness, and it provides additional resources for veteran health care, funding for nuclear energy programs and support for border security and other law enforcement activities. This is the final fiscal year appropriations bill covered under the discretionary spending caps set by the bipartisan Budget Control Act and the Bipartisan Budget Act. As such, further bipartisan action will be needed to impose necessary fiscal restraint on future discretionary spending, as well as on mandatory spending, which continues to run on autopilot, driving up the largest portion of our debt. I remain committed to pushing for needed fiscal reforms to stabilize our out of control mandatory spending.
“The successes of Operation Warp Speed and American medical ingenuity have produced safe and effective vaccines faster than many thought possible, and we are turning a corner on the dark days of this pandemic. Our fight against COVID-19 is not over. We have considerable work ahead to fully recover from the coronavirus, but as we continue to work together on tough issues, I am confident Americans will once again prevail over our challenges and overcome this fight.
“This year has been challenging for all of us. Health care workers have faced the worst of it. I once again thank health care providers and those on the front lines who have served as caregivers and healers, and who have also stepped in to provide emotional support when loved ones cannot be present with their families. I am eternally grateful for their work.”
The COVID-19 stimulus and FY 2021 omnibus package includes:
- Funding for vaccine distribution and to make the vaccine available free of charge, as well as continued testing and contact tracing mitigation programs;
- Additional funding for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses;
- A number of important tax relief measures to help the restaurant industry, to support the creation of additional low-income housing, to assist employers offering paid sick leave, and to support our supply chains through a permanent extension of the 45G short line railroad tax credit;
- Extends the date for states like Idaho to use money in the Coronavirus Relief Fund until December 31, 2021;
- Additional resources for the Provider Relief Fund as well as clarification of the definition of lost revenues;
- An end to surprise medical billing;
- Direct payments of $600 for adults filing separately making up to $75,000, or up to $150,000 as a married couple filing jointly, plus $600 per child dependent;
- An additional $300 per week for state-determined unemployment payments through March 14, 2021;
- Funding for live venues including theaters, zoos and museums;
- School and child care assistance;
- Funding for mass transit programs; and
- Additional support for farmers and ranchers.
As Chairman of the Banking Committee, Senator Crapo secured the following COVID-19 relief provisions:
- A requirement to return more than $429 billion from unused funds from Federal Reserve facilities to be re-appropriated to those sectors of the economy that need it most.
- $25 billion in emergency rental assistance for struggling renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, administered by States, territories, tribes and large cities. Assistance can cover rent, rental arrears, utility payments, or utility arrears.
- $12 billion to support community development investment and lending in low- and moderate income (LMI) communities and minority communities.
- Extended regulatory relief for financial institutions, providing the flexibility to better meet customers’ needs during the pandemic.
- A provision to allow the Department of Housing and Urban Development to finance up to 1 year of operating losses for certain hospital and residential care facilities.
The package also contains significant Crapo wins, including:
- Reauthorization of the EARLY Act, which provides breast cancer education and awareness programs, through FY 2026;
- Passage of the Medicaid Patient Abuse Prevention Act to allow Medicaid Fraud Control Units to investigate cases of fraud, abuse and neglect in the home and community-based setting;
- Funding for the Office of Violence Against Women to support the Violence Against Women Act; and
- Support for nuclear energy research, development, demonstration and commercial application programs to reestablish U.S. leadership in nuclear energy.
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