House, Senate pass of bipartisan COVID relief bill
Unemployment assistance, small business aid, rental assistance included
The House and Senate voted Monday night on a COVID relief and omnibus legislative package that provides critical COVID relief for unemployed Americans, their families and small businesses struggling under the weight of the impact of COVID, while also funding the government through the end of the fiscal year in September 2021. The final COVID relief bill passed would provide approximately $900 billion in federal assistance to continue to respond to the COVID pandemic and its impact on the economy.
“This long-overdue legislation has additional funding for COVID vaccine accessibility and distribution, money for schools so they can safely reopen, and another round of direct payments for Americans who have been hit the hardest during this pandemic,” said Rep. Chris Smith, member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus which helped spark dialogue for negotiations and push through a final bill. “This relief bill also will extend the successful Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that has kept many small businesses afloat with desperately-needed relief, and will add deductibility for PPP expenses.”
Once signed into law, the act:
Today’s bill is the sixth major COVID package Congress passed in 2020. The CARES Act was the third and the largest phase of the federal response enacted into law. Smith supported Phase I, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020—which provided $8.3 billion for treatment and prevention measures in NJ. Phase II, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—provided paid sick leave, family medical leave, free testing, and expanded unemployment benefits among other provisions to help working Americans.