U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) voted in favor of H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, a comprehensive year-end bill that includes coronavirus relief and funding for the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2021. The legislative package passed the Senate on a 91-7 vote and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“Struggling Hoosier businesses, communities, frontline workers, and families have waited too long for this critically needed coronavirus relief package. While I wish we had reached agreement months ago, I’m glad this aid will finally be delivered to the American people, particularly to ensure the safe and efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines that will be essential for overcoming this pandemic,” said Senator Young. “This package provides assistance to essential workers, small businesses, and unemployed Americans, and provides additional resources for testing and vaccinations. It also funds the federal government, one of Congress’ main responsibilities, and contains several of my priorities to bolster Indiana’s health and economic security.”
The bill rescinds $429 billion in unused CARES Act funds to help pay for the additional coronavirus relief measures. In addition to coronavirus relief and all 12 appropriations bills, it also includes a three-year extension for miscellaneous expiring health programs and extensions of varying lengths for expiring tax provisions, reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, and the Energy Act of 2020.
Coronavirus relief highlights include:
- $325 billion for small business relief, including $284 billion for Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Loans and enhanced relief for hard-hit industries like restaurants and venues.
- PPP Second Draw incorporates a number of tenets from Senator Young’s RESTART Act, including expansion of the number of allowable and forgivable costs to provide businesses with more flexibility and a requirement that businesses demonstrate need by meeting a 25 percent or more revenue decline test.
- Clarifies Congressional intent that business expenses paid using forgiven PPP funds are tax deductible, avoiding a significant unexpected burden on already struggling small businesses.
- Senator Young is a cosponsor of S., 3612, Small Business Expense Protection Act, and advocated for this clarification.
- $25 billion for rental assistance for struggling renters and a one month extension of the CDC eviction moratorium.
- Extends Federal Pandemic Unemployment Insurance benefit of $300/week through March 14, 2021.
- Direct payment of $600 to individuals and qualified child dependents (up to $2,400 for a family of four).
- $10 billion for child care, including direct support for child care providers for fixed costs and operation expenses, to help ensure working parents have access to child care so they can work or return to work.
- Senator Young cosponsored S. 4221, the Back to Work Child Care Grants Act and signed a letter requesting support for child care in COVID-19 relief.
- $29 billion for vaccine development and distribution.
- $22 billion for COVID-19 testing and related activities by states.
- $3 billion for the health care Provider Relief Fund.
- $250 million in funding for the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program.
- $82 billion for education, including $54.3 billion for K-12 schools and $22.7 billion for higher education.
- Nearly $11.2 billion for COVID-related agriculture assistance, specifically allowing the Secretary to make payments to producers for losses incurred from depopulation of livestock and poultry due to processing disruptions.
- Senator Young cosponsored S. 4156, RELIEF for Producers Act.
- $45 billion for transportation assistance related to COVID-19 impacts.
- Includes $16 billion to extend the Aviation Workers Payroll Support Program which Senator Young has advocated for since August.
- Extends and enhances the Employee Retention Tax Credit through June 30, 2021.
- 12-month extension of the deadline to expend state and local funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to allow more flexibility to stretch out already obligated CARES funds.