Washington, D.C. – Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) voted this evening in favor of the Bipartisan-Bicameral Omnibus and COVID Relief Bill. The bill includes approximately $900 billion in COVID-19 aid. After the vote, Rep. LaHood released the following statement:
"As I traveled across the 18th Congressional District of Illinois in recent months, I heard from businesses on the brink of shutting down for good because of Governor Pritzker's state-mandated closures, workers who still cannot access Illinois' unemployment system, and health care workers who need additional support to care for COVID-19 patients. This bipartisan agreement includes important provisions to extend the Paycheck Protection Program, expand vaccine distribution, reopen our schools, and increase rural broadband access. No compromise is perfect, but this bipartisan bill will provide critical support to families, workers, small businesses, and our frontline health care heroes in Illinois.
"I continue to hold real concerns about the massive amount of deficit spending we are piling up and Congress' yearly inability to work in regular order to fund our government. While Congress needs to act to provide COVID-19 relief, if we continue this spending pattern unchecked, the burden left on our children and their children will be unbearable.
"As we head into the new year, the health and economic impact of COVID-19 will continue to present our nation with serious challenges. This bill will provide important relief to those in need and resources to support key programs in Illinois. It is essential that the Governor, the General Assembly, and local elected officials in Illinois also work swiftly to allow businesses to safely reopen, get our kids back in the classroom, and alleviate the issues so many of my constituents continue to have with Illinois' unemployment system."
Bipartisan-Bicameral Omnibus & COVID Relief Deal
Key COVID-19 provisions in the legislation include:
- 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
- $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
- $600 for both adults and dependents with safeguards to prohibit illegal aliens from receiving payment
- $82 billion in funding for schools and universities to assist with reopening for in-person learning
- $300 million to build out rural broadband
- $250 million for telehealth
- $13 billion to support our farmers and agriculture industry
Key provisions that Rep. LaHood introduced or advocated for:
- Paycheck Protection Program deductibility, which Rep. LaHood called for earlier this month
- CERTS Act - $2 billion included in CERTS funding for the moto-coach industry, which Rep. LaHood is the lead sponsor
- H.R. 5952 - SNF Hemophilia Access Act, which Rep. LaHood is the lead sponsor
- $15 billion in funding for the Payroll Support Program for airlines, which will support 18th District airports
- Allows FSA/DCFSA users to rollover unused dollars into 2021, which Rep. LaHood called for in May
- Ends surprise medical billing, by taking patients out of the middle with no government rate setting and giving true and honest cost estimate for patients three days prior to scheduled procedure, which are key priorities for Ways and Means Republicans
- Improves support for unique rural health care needs suggested by the Rural and Underserved Task Force, of which Rep. LaHood is a member
- Includes responsible reforms to what are commonly known as “tax extenders,” including making the Craft Beverage and Short Line Rail tax credits permanent.
- $55 million for airport control towers, which will benefit needed airport tower upgrades at 18th District airports
- H.R. 7947 - Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, which provides temporary additional funding to support older foster youth, kin caregivers, at-risk families, state courts, adoptive families, and foster care prevention services, and allows older youth to remain in foster care during the pandemic.
For additional information on key items included in this legislation and COVID-19 relief, visit the Ways and Means Republicans website HERE.