WASHINGTON — Last night, Rep. Dean helped pass the necessary and long-awaited $900 Billion COVID-19 relief package. The package now includes the following measures and more:
- Small Business: $284 billion for first and second forgivable PPP loans, expanded PPP eligibility, modifications to PPP to serve smallest businesses, nonprofits, and independent restaurants; $20 billion for EIDL Grants
- Rent Assistance: $25 billion in rental assistance and an extension of the eviction moratorium.
- Direct Payments: Worth up to $600 per adult and child
- Unemployment: $300 per week UI enhancement for Americans out of work.
- Food Insecurity: $13 billion in increased SNAP and child nutrition benefits
- Education and Child care: $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools and $10 billion for child care assistance to help get parents back to work and keep child care providers open.
- Broadband: $7 billion to increase access to broadband, including a new Emergency Broadband Benefit to help millions of students, families and unemployed workers afford the broadband they need during the pandemic.
- State and Local Governments: The bill included Rep. Dean and Rep. Thompson’s LOCAL Act – which extends the time state and local governments can use CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars until the end of 2021.
“I voted yes on the relief package because the situation is dire and folks need relief now, but this does not mean the package is sufficient.” Rep. Dean said. “But, we couldn’t wait any longer to extend funding for unemployment assistance, or to get funding to those who are hungry, or struggling to stay in their homes, and immediate relief for small businesses.”
Rep. Dean is hopeful the relief will be out to Americans as quickly as possible. The package also includes billions in funds to accelerate the free and equitable distribution of safe vaccines and funds to implement a strong national testing and tracing strategy. However, the bill fails to go far enough to replenish State and local funding or provide adequate direct payments. However, this emergency relief bill is an important initial step, which will be built upon under the Biden-Harris Administration.
Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.