U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) released the following statement after Congress passed a bipartisan, targeted relief package to help American workers, families, and small businesses get through the coronavirus crisis:
“Hoosier workers, families, and small businesses continue to face unprecedented challenges, but more help is on the way.
“Struggling small businesses and non-profits will be able to get a second round of PPP funds, a vital lifeline to help keep the lights on and save jobs. Workers and families will get direct economic relief. Child care providers and schools will get assistance to safely reopen and stay open. States will get additional resources to distribute safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. And foster youth, at-risk mothers, and vulnerable families will get much-needed flexibility and support through bipartisan provisions I introduced.
“With two safe and effective vaccines now being distributed across the country, we are getting closer every day to defeating this invisible enemy and rebuilding our nation’s economy. This commonsense bill will provide immediate relief to the American people so we can get to the other side of this crisis and emerge stronger than ever before.”
The House on Monday passed H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and the Senate followed suit. The bill now heads to President Trump to be signed into law.
Key Provisions of the COVID-19 Relief Package:
- Renews successful Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Gives small businesses experiencing severe revenue reductions the opportunity to apply for a second forgivable loan, with $284 billion in funding.
Simplifies the forgiveness process for loans under $150,000, and allows small businesses to deduct PPP loans.
Increases loan amount for restaurants and hotels, and makes chambers of commerce and newspapers eligible.
Walorski co-sponsored the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act (H.R. 8265) and signed a discharge petition to bring it to the House floor after Speaker Pelosi repeatedly blocked a vote to renew PPP.
- Provides resources to defeat COVID-19.
$20 billion to purchase vaccines, ensuring they are available to Americans at no cost.
$8 billion to support distribution of safe and effective vaccines authorized by the FDA.
$20 billion to assist states with testing and other measures to combat COVID-19.
- Supports foster youth and vulnerable families.
Provides temporary additional funding to support older foster youth, kinship caregivers such as grandparents raising grandchildren, at-risk pregnant women and new parents, state courts, adoptive families, and foster care prevention services.
Allows older youth to remain in foster care during the pandemic.
Walorski introduced the bipartisan Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R. 7947) with Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support Chairman Danny Davis (D-Ill.).
- Provides second round of direct payments to Americans.
Builds on economic relief provided in the CARES Act, sending direct payments of up to $600 per individual ($1,200 per married couple) and $600 for each child under the age of 17.
Full amount is available for individuals with income $75,000 ($112,500 for heads of household) and couples with income below $150,000.
Rebate amount will be reduced by $5 for each $100 the income level exceeds these thresholds.
- Assists child care providers and schools in safely reopening.
$10 billion in grants to child care centers to help care providers safely reopen.
$82 billion to assist schools and universities with reopening for in-person learning.
- Temporarily extends enhanced unemployment benefits.
Provides additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits through March 14, 2021.
Extends and phases out federal unemployment benefits when state unemployment runs out and temporary benefits for self-employed and gig workers.
- Provides tax relief to teachers who purchase pandemic-related supplies.
Clarifies that personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are eligible for the educator expense deduction.
Walorski introduced the bipartisan Supporting Educators During COVID-19 Act (H.R.8520) with Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.).
- Addresses nationwide affordable housing crisis.
Creates a permanent 4 percent rate for calculating the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) for certain affordable housing developments.
Walorski introduced the bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 3077) with Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.).
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.