Eshoo Casts Vote for Coronavirus Relief and Annual Government Spending Package
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) voted yesterday for the $900 billion coronavirus relief package and $1.4 trillion annual government spending bill to provide desperately needed assistance to the American people and defeat COVID-19.
“This aid package is a lifeline to the American people who continue to struggle as a result of the pandemic and it’s the product of months of exhaustive bipartisan negotiations and compromise,” said Rep. Eshoo. “The package provides billions in new funding to help us stamp out the virus through testing, treatment, and vaccines; a new round of direct payments to individuals and families; hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding for struggling businesses; an extension of unemployment benefits and a weekly $300 federal benefit for the unemployed; financial assistance for renters and an extension of the eviction moratorium; and increased nutrition benefits for families and children. The package will also lower health care costs by ending surprise medical billing while strengthening and supporting community health centers and local hospitals. These are major wins for my constituents and the American people.
“No compromise is perfect and I’m deeply disappointed that aid for states and local governments and our frontline health care workers and other essential employees working at the state and local level were excluded from this deal,” Rep. Eshoo continued. “I’m also disappointed the Administration and the Senate Majority Leader would not allow restaurants and their workers to receive our help. With 217 bipartisan cosponsors on the RESTAURANTS Act, these businesses and their workers should have been in this legislation. Nonetheless, this package is a major down payment in our work to tackle this unprecedented crisis and I’m hopeful that Congress will come together in the new year under a new administration to provide more relief and assistance to all who need it.”
The coronavirus relief package includes:
- A new round of direct payments worth up to $600 per adult and child;
- An extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits for millions and an additional $300 per-week federal unemployment benefit for Americans out of work;
- $284 billion for additional small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program;
- $13 billion in increased nutrition assistance for families and children to help relieve the COVID hunger crisis;
- $10 billion for child care assistance to help get parents back to work and keep child care providers open;
- An eviction moratorium and $25 billion to help renters pay their rent and stay in their homes;
- $82 billion in funding for colleges and K-12 schools to prevent students from falling behind;
- Billions of dollars to ensure the free, timely, and equitable distribution of safe, effective vaccines and an aggressive national testing strategy; and
- $7 billion in broadband and connectivity funding.
The package also ends surprise medical billing and includes the following provisions authored or co-authored by Rep. Eshoo:
- H.R. 5534, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act which extends Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant patients;
- H.R. 1520, the Purple Book Continuity Act, which will help bring biosimilar drugs to market faster by increasing patent and exclusivity transparency;
- H.R. 6814, the Supporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students in Need Act, which creates a new program to expand internet connectivity for low-income students so they can continue their studies during the pandemic as colleges begin another semester of remote learning;
- H.R. 1420, the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act, which requires government agencies to develop plans to implement best practices for energy management, purchase more energy efficient information and communications technologies, and submit to periodic evaluation of their data centers for energy efficiency; and
- H.R. 2165, the 9-1-1 Fee Integrity Act which requires by statute that 9-1-1 fees can only be used for 9-1-1 purposes and prevents states from diverting 9-1-1 fees collected for unrelated purposes.
In addition to pandemic relief, the bill provides an addition $1.4 billion to fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year, avoiding a costly government shutdown before the holidays, and invests in critical priorities, including clean energy, affordable housing, public schools, and broadband. Rep. Eshoo secured a number of important wins including:
- $15 million for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Program at the DOD;
- $42.9 billion for the NIH for forward thinking investments in medical research;
- $597 million for critical biodefense and public health emergency preparedness at BARDA, plus $20 billion in emergency funding to support the manufacturing and procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics;
- $350 million for the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Program to support pediatric medical residents' training;
- $5.4 million for research on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at the CDC to better understand this terrible disease;
- $100 million for the electrification of Caltrain;
- $8.9 million for environmental conservation of the San Francisco Bay;
- $33 million for construction of the Linac Coherent Light Source upgrade (LCLS-II) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory;
- $85.2 million for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) at NASA Ames; and
- Dedicated funding for the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology to expand AI R&D, including with a focus on increasing AI workforce diversity and developing a framework for ethical and safe AI.
A summary of the spending deal can be found HERE.
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