WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress has struck a deal that includes some $900 billion in COVID-19 aid. The relief package includes roughly $325 billion in small business relief, a $600 stimulus check for Americans earning less than $75,000, and an extension of increased federal unemployment benefits at $300 a week through March 14, 2021.
According to the North Texas Commission, some of the key provisions of this deal include:
(the following is an excerpt from this NTC post)
- Small Businesses. The bill would provide $325 billion toward relief for small businesses, including $284 billion that is allocated for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It also designates $15 billion in PPP funding for live venues and $20 billion for new EIDL grants for businesses in low-income communities. The deal includes language that seeks to simplify the loan forgiveness process and would provide PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) nonprofit organizations.
- Health Care. The package allocates $69 billion for various health care related needs. This includes: (1) $ 22 billion for COVID-19 testing infrastructure; (2) roughly $20 billion toward procurement of vaccines and therapeutics; (3) nearly $9 billion to the CDC and states for vaccine distribution; (4) over $3 billion for the strategic national stockpile; (5) $9 billion for health care providers; and (6) $4.5 billion in funding for mental health services. In addition, the deal would allocate $250 million for broadband services for telehealth.
- Transit. The agreement would allocate $45 billion in emergency funding for the transportation sector. Specifically, this includes: (1) $15 billion for airline payroll support; (2) $1 billion for airline contractor payrolls; (3) $10 billion for state highways; (4) $2 billion for airports and airport concessionaires; (5) $2 billion for the private motorcoach, school bus, and ferry industries; (6) $1 billion for Amtrak; and (7) $14 billion for transit such as light rail and bus.
- Broadband. The bill would allocate $7 billion for provisions pertaining to broadband connectivity, which includes a $3.2 billion set-aside for low-income families to access broadband by way of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fund. It would also provide a $2 billion pot for small telecommunications firms to use toward replacing Huawei/ZTE equipment.
- Child Care & Nutrition. The bill would provide $10 billion toward the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), with a $250 million pot for Head Start providers. The legislation also includes $13 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which will increase benefits by 15 percent.
- Unemployment. The bill would renew the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program with an extra $300 per week. The bill would also provide an extra $100 per week for individuals with both wage and contractor income whose base unemployment insurance benefit does not account for their contractor income. Furthermore, the bill includes another round of direct economic impact payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 per year, as well as a $600 payment for each child dependent.
- Education. The deal includes $82 billion for education-related needs. This breakdown includes: (1) $54 billion dedicated to K-12; (2) $23 billion dedicated to higher education; and (3) $4 billion for the CARES Act Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund.
- Housing. The bill would provide $25 billion for emergency rental assistance. It also would extend the federal moratorium on evictions through January 31, 2021.
- Community Lending. The deal would provide $12 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI), with set-asides to facilitate targeted emergency investments to help low-income and minority communities.
- Postal Service. The deal would convert a $10 billion loan provided to the United States Postal Service (USPS) under the CARES Act into direct funding.
- State and Local Governments. The bill would extend the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) through Dec. 31, 2021.