Congressman Austin Scott

Representing the 8th District of Georgia

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Rep. Austin Scott Votes for Extended COVID-19 Relief for Small Businesses, Georgia Families

December 21, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC ­– Today, Representatives Austin Scott (GA-08) released the below statement upon House passage of the Bipartisan-Bicameral Omnibus and COVID Relief Deal, which will provide extended relief for Georgia families and small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.

“After months of needless waiting, the American people can rest a little easier knowing that extended COVID-19 relief is on the way. This legislative package, which includes money for routine government operations as well as extended COVID-19 relief, is a bipartisan-bicameral compromise that meets many Republican priorities to help American families, small businesses, and states continue to combat COVID-19 and get our economy back on track. While not perfect, I’m satisfied with the package and will continue to work to provide resources for those struggling with the impacts of the virus,” said Rep. Austin Scott.

This COVID-19 relief package is approximately $900 billion, or a net of approximately $325 billion after rescinding $429 billion in Federal Reserve 13(3) authority and repurposing unused Paycheck Protection Program funds, compared to the $3.3 trillion spending in Heroes 1 (H.R. 6800) and $2.4 trillion in Heroes 2 (H.R. 925). 

Key COVID-19 relief provisions:

Small Business Relief:

  • Extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and adds deductibility for PPP expenses
  • Gives businesses experiencing severe revenue reductions an opportunity to apply for a second draw PPP loan
  • Includes 501(c)(6) organizations but excludes unions from eligibility
  • $15 billion in funding for entertainment venues, movie theaters, and museums that are experiencing significant revenue loss 
  • Codifies federal rules that ensure churches and faith-based organizations are eligible for PPP loans

Vaccine Assistance:

  • $20 billion for purchase of vaccines that will make the vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it
  • $8 billion for vaccine distribution
  • $20 billion to assist states with testing
  • $20 billion distribution from existing provider relief fund

Stimulus checks:

  • $600 for both adults and dependents

Unemployment Assistance:

  • Temporarily extends a number of unemployment programs created by the CARES Act (H.R. 748) that expire Dec. 31, 2020 and provides unemployed individuals an additional $300 per week for 10 weeks from December 26, 2020 through March 14, 2021

Schools and Childcare Centers:

  • $10 billion for grants to childcare centers to help providers safely reopen
  • $82 billion in funding for schools and universities to assist with reopening for in-person learning

Housing:

  • $25 billion in temporary and targeted rental assistance for individuals who lost their source of income during the pandemic and extends the eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021

Transportation and Infrastructure:

  • $7 billion in broadband funding that includes:
    • Nearly $2 billion to replace foreign manufactured broadband equipment that poses national security threats
    • $300 million to build out rural broadband
    • $250 million for telehealth
  • $45 billion for transportation, including:
    • $16 billion for another round of airline employee and contractor payroll support
    • $14 billion for transit
    • $10 billion for highways
    • $2 billion for intercity buses
    • $2 billion for airports
    • $1 billion for Amtrak

Food and Agriculture Assistance:

  • Increases SNAP benefits by 15% for six months, but does not expand eligibility, and requires the Secretary of Agriculture to issue a report on redemption rate and unexpended balances
  • Provides funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a program that serves over 700,000 older Americans monthly
  • $13 billion to support our farmers and agriculture sector
    • Enhances assistance under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to support specialty crop, non-specialty crop, livestock, dairy, and poultry producers
    • Gives discretionary authority to the Secretary to support producers of biofuels, producers of organics or value-added products, and timber harvesting and hauling businesses
    • Additional funding is directed to programs that support local producers and new and beginning farmers, dairy producers, dairy processors via reimbursement for donated dairy products, fisheries, textile mills, agricultural research, small and medium size meat processors, and to state departments of agriculture for farm stress programs

Key Omnibus Provisions:

  • Provides our military with the resources to defend our nation and advance U.S. national security
  • Includes a 3% pay raise for the troops and provides the resources to continue rebuild our military, deter adversaries, and defend our national security interests
  • Includes $11 million for the E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), that are based at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia
  • Provides the Trump Administration flexibility to build the wall and manage detention needs along the border
    • $1.375 billion in new funding for the wall and additional funding for border security technology and enforcement
    • $20 million for new border processing coordinators
    • Protects the President’s authority to use funds for immigration and border law enforcement actions
  • Increases funding for House Republican priorities, such as continuing support for our law enforcement, NASA, maintaining our nuclear deterrent, and an all-of-the-above energy strategy
    • Rejects Democrat efforts to defund the police and provides strong support for our nation’s federal, state, and local law enforcement
    • Prioritizes funding to protect national security interests, enhance school safety, advance scientific research and exploration, and combatting the opioid epidemic
  • Preserves pro-life protections and other conservative riders in current law
    • Prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment of the mother
    • Prohibits the creation or destruction of embryos for research purposes
    • Protects the Trump Administration’s Title X Family Planning regulations
    • Maintains the Hyde Amendment, Tiahrt Amendment, Helms Amendment, Dickey Amendment, and Kemp-Kasten Amendment

Other Key Matters:

  • Extends important public health programs for three years, including community health centers - eliminating several funding cliffs over next several years
  • Ends surprise medical billing
    • True and honest cost estimate for patients three days prior to scheduled procedure
    • Arbitration – independent dispute resolution process with no benchmark rate and multiple factors (but not government program reimbursement rates) which can be considered in arbitration process
  • Supports Front Line Health Care Providers by injecting billions of dollars into Medicare physician pay in 2021 and heading off payment cuts due to be enacted next year
  • Improves support for Rural and Underserved Health Care
  • Energy package includes Republican priorities such as promoting carbon capture and utilization, ending reliance on critical minerals from foreign countries, and creating commercial opportunities for advanced nuclear technologies.   

 

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