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Matsui Issues Statement on the Passage of COVID-19 Relief Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement on the passage of the bipartisan emergency coronavirus relief package.

“As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the nation, the American people have demanded a strong, decisive response from the federal government to ensure our economic stability and protect our public health,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “This is a critical moment for our communities, and we are all being asked to make difficult choices for the health and safety of our loved ones. The American people made it clear that we could not wait any longer – working American families, the unemployed, and the most vulnerable could not simply hold out for better days ahead. With the vaccine providing new hope in our fight against COVID-19, it is also crucial that we secure enough doses, and get our providers and public health officials the support and supplies they need to receive and distribute the vaccine nationwide.”  

“This package also contains several provisions that I have worked hard to include,” Matsui continued. “As we move towards an economic recovery from the pandemic, this bill expands Paycheck Protection Program eligibility to include destination marketing organizations that drive tourism in our region. In the face of more virtual learning, I fought for the inclusion of vital broadband support for low-income families and higher education institutions. However, our work is not yet done. As we look forward to a new Administration next month, this is an important first step to address the challenges at hand. We must continue to fight for our heroes on the front lines of this pandemic. I look forward to getting back to work to provide for the needs of the Sacramento region.”  

The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package includes:

Public Health Investments for COVID-19

  • Over $19 billion to support the nation’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, including the manufacture, production and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, and ancillary supplies
  • Nearly $9 billion to the CDC and states for vaccine distribution and more than $3 billion for the strategic national stockpile
  • More than $22 billion for testing, tracing and COVID mitigation programs, with a targeted investment for expanding access to testing and contract tracing in high-risk and underserved populations, including communities of color
  • Long-term extension funding critical public health programs including Community Health Centers
  • $3 billion in new resources for the Provider Relief Fund  

Economic Relief

  • $286 billion in funding to support American workers and families
  • $300 per week for all workers receiving unemployment benefits, through March 14, 2021
  • 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 
    • This means a family of four will receive $2,400 in direct payments

Small Business

  • New PPP funding including more than $284 billion for first and second forgivable PPP loans and dedicated set-asides for very small businesses
  • Expanded PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) nonprofits, including destination marketing organizations (DMOs) like Visit California and Visit Sacramento after Rep. Matsui led a letter signed by more than 80 Members of Congress calling for their inclusion

Schools

  • $82 billion to help support K-12 schools and institutions of higher education 
  • $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
  • $22.7 Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Broadband

  • $7 billion to support broadband connectivity including:
    • $3.2 billion in emergency funds and a $50 a month benefit for low-income families
    • $285 million for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) based on Reps. Eshoo and Matsui’s Supporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students in Need Act
  • $2 billion to help small telecommunication providers to rip out Huawei/ZTE equipment to replace it with secure equipment based on Reps. Pallone and Matsui’s Secure and Trusted Networks Communications Act
  • $250 million in grant funding to the FCC’s COVID Telehealth Program that helps expand telehealth access

Consumer Protection

  • Rep. Matsui’s Safer Occupancy Furniture Flammability Act (SOFFA) (H.R. 2647) is included which sets a national furniture flammability standard that will reduce the need for harmful flame retardants that have been associated with issues such as endocrine disruption, immunotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, and cancer

Bill text is available here. A one-pager is available here

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