Historic Bipartisan Emergency Pandemic Relief Package Formed by Problem Solvers Caucus, Senate Partners Passes The House
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Monday, December 21, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a COVID-19 emergency relief package shaped by bipartisan, bicameral legislation originally developed and agreed upon by the Problem Solvers and a group of Senators from both sides of the aisle.
Last week, the Problem Solvers Caucus and the Senators shared two bills, including the bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act of 2020, which served as the framework for the final COVID-19 relief package.
The final COVID-19 emergency relief package closely mirrors the bipartisan, bicameral proposal introduced earlier last week:
- Enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) - $300 per week
- Direct stimulus checks - $600 per individual, including children
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and small business support - $325 billion
- CDFI/MDI Community Lender Support - $12 billion
- Transportation (Airlines, Airports, Buses, Transit and Amtrak) - $45 billion
- Support for Vaccine Development and Distribution, Testing and Tracing
- Support for Health Care Providers and Health Care Workers
- Education Funding - $82 billion
- Rental Assistance and Eviction Moratorium - $25 billion
- Nutrition/Agriculture - $26 billion
- Child Care - $10 billion
- Dedicated Broadband Funding - $7 billion
- Mental Health & Opioid Treatment - $4.3 billion
- Year-long extension of Coronavirus Relief Fund use by state and localities
“Months ago, the Problem Solvers Caucus and a group of Senators from both sides of the aisle began meeting with one goal in mind: breaking through the biggest impasse in recent history in Congress. Today, with our bipartisan, bicameral agreement as its foundation, the House has now passed emergency pandemic relief — finally delivering critical lifelines for our families, businesses, and communities," said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). "This is the model for how Washington should work: coming together, understanding that we should not let perfect be the enemy of the good, and that the American people should always come before partisan politics. This is about actually governing. It is a different model. It is not the one that gets you clicks, but it is how you get a bill done.”
“When we started working on a bipartisan, bicameral relief package in the fall, we did so because we fundamentally care about the needs of the American people. In passing this COVID-19 relief deal tonight, we are ensuring small businesses, school districts, health care providers, nursing homes, individuals, and working families across New York will not go into the holidays without the support they deserve,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Tom Reed (NY-23). “Working with our Senate partners, we are confident that this new way of governing will become commonplace in Washington so the American people are once again the priority.”
“COVID-19 has caused suffering in this country like we haven’t seen before. Families, small businesses, health care workers, schools – they’re all struggling, and this bipartisan package throws them a lifeline. Help is on the way this Christmas,” Rep. Fred Upton said. “I’ve heard from countless doctors and nurses, mom-and-pop small businesses owners, teachers, and community leaders who begged Congress to provide much-needed help. This package isn’t perfect but it’s a good compromise and delivers real help. With the new vaccine, there is light at the end of an extremely long tunnel, but to ensure folks can make it until then, we need this package. Bottom line? I joined our bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus’ call that we could not leave D.C. for home without seeing an agreement enacted to help folks across the country deal with this pandemic.”
“After making it my personal mission for over four months, I’m pleased that emergency relief is finally on its way to American workers, families and small businesses,” Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m particularly proud of the bipartisan ‘Tiger Team’ working group of the Problem Solver Caucus, which worked together to inspire a breakthrough in stalled negotiations and played an integral role in delivering much needed aid to Americans at the precipice. Restoring Americans’ trust in government requires members of Congress to place the needs of people above personal priorities, and we need more to take that pledge and fulfill the promise. America is great because we’ve always found the common ground necessary to serve our nation’s best interests. As our country emerges from the worst health and economic crisis of our lifetimes, I'm committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure we can meet the moment.”
Rep. Dusty Johnson said, “Congress finally got its act together. I was proud to vote in support of a tailored COVID-19 relief package that supports our small businesses, schools, and hurting American families. It wasn’t a perfect bill, but it was a good one. While it took far too long to get here, we got a good bill across the finish line. The Problem Solvers Caucus was instrumental in getting this done, and I am grateful I had the chance to be a part of historic bipartisan efforts that serve America.”
“This emergency relief legislation has the opportunity to provide Central Virginia families, businesses, healthcare workers, and schools with some degree of peace of mind as we approach the holidays. While additional relief is long overdue, today’s progress should be a sign of hope that Congress can move forward – including under the next administration – in rebuilding our economy, ensuring the swift distribution of vaccines, and safely reopening schools and businesses,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger. “I’d like to thank my fellow Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus for coming together as leaders, hammering out our differences, and refusing to accept complacency in the face of a once-in-a-generation pandemic. This package is just a first step in putting our nation back on a pathway toward recovery.”
“I’m happy to see Congress finally come together and pass a targeted Covid relief bill to help struggling American families before the holidays. For months I have been calling on my colleagues to encourage leadership to come back to the table and I’m proud of our bipartisan and bicameral product that is emerging out of the chaos,” said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez. “However, it should never have come to this point. Going into a new year and a new Congress, we simply must put our partisanship aside and rebuild a healthy, vibrant economy for all Ohioans.”
“As COVID cases skyrocket nationwide, Americans are struggling”, said Rep. Kurt Schrader. “Countless families are on the brink of foreclosure and eviction as Christmas fast approaches. It is getting more and more difficult for small businesses to keep their lights on and make payroll. Relief cannot come fast enough. This package is a huge win for the American people and I am proud to have been a part of it. Thank you to House and Senate leadership for taking our bill up and working until they found compromise and making sure that no one went home for the holidays until relief was passed.”
“I’m absolutely devastated that state and local aid is not included in this package because it will have such a negative effect on my state, and the counties, cities, towns and villages I represent. I recognize, however, that too many people are suffering right now and there are many other important provisions in this compromise. We cannot let perfect be the enemy of the good,” said Rep. Tom Suozzi. “Without the Problem Solvers, it is unlikely we would have gotten this far and I will not stop working until we get the needed relief our state and local governments need.”
“I am happy to see that we have finally passed a bipartisan COVID relief deal. The Problem Solvers have been working hard for months, bringing both sides to the table, and developing a comprehensive framework and package that will deliver real results to those in need,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. “For months Congress left the American people in limbo, not knowing when the next round of relief would arrive. As we enter a new Congress, we have much more work to do and must continue good faith, bipartisan discussions to meet the needs of our constituents quickly and effectively.
"It's about time," said Rep. Susie Lee. "To every family scared about making ends meet, to our healthcare workers laying their lives on the line every single day to protect us, and to every small business owner forced to tread water for months, more help is finally on the way. This package includes expanded unemployment benefits, direct payments to working families, small business relief, aid for hospitals and frontline workers, funding for vaccine distribution, and more critical relief. The Problem Solvers Caucus has been critical to keeping relief negotiations alive. Our most recent proposal served as the framework for this final package. If you want proof that Republicans and Democrats working together, in good faith, is the best way to get things done, here it is."
“This package should have been delivered months ago and there’s much missing from the final agreement. But right now, it’s better to be late than to never pass a bill. I’m proud to be a part of the Problem Solvers Caucus, the bipartisan group that kept the negotiations alive and allowed us to get to this place. And I’m proud that my legislation supporting hospitals and streamlining Medicare enrollment will be included in the bill,” said Rep. Brad Schneider. “Nevertheless, this agreement is only a down payment on what is needed to get our country back to healthy (physically and economically) and I look forward to working with the PSC to make sure Congress remains focused on the needs of our communities, our health care system, our state and local governments and our nation as a whole in the new year.”
Rep. Don Bacon said, “I’m proud to be a part of the Problem Solvers Caucus that broke the logjam on this COVID supplemental. Our mission is to break the gridlock and we succeeded here and Americans are better off for the efforts. The bill we are voting on today was initiated by the Problem Solvers over a month ago.”
“For months, we’ve been urging both sides to come together to pass a bipartisan COVID relief bill that’s focused on helping working families. I’m proud of the work Problem Solvers did to bring both sides to the negotiating table and break the months-long gridlock in Washington. The end result isn’t a perfect bill, but it provides a much-needed down payment to send immediate relief for American workers and businesses who are still struggling as a result of this health and economic crisis,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy.
"By working together, the Problem Solvers have shown that Congress can get things done to help the American people,” said Rep. Jim Costa. “This bill will help alleviate the stress of the pandemic on our local communities and provide much needed short-term relief, but much more needs to be done. This will create a bridge to give us the longer-term recovery to get our economy up and running next year, sooner than later we hope.”
“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve heard from families that are struggling to make rent, small business owners who are fighting to keep their doors open, and rural hospital providers that are being pushed to their limit. The clock is running out for too many families, small businesses, and workers in New Mexico and across the country,” said Rep. Xochitl Torres Small. “I’ve been working with the Problem Solvers Caucus for months on a bipartisan plan to deliver lifeline relief millions of Americans need now. This relief package is a result of our continued efforts to fight for families across the country. We need to get this done.”
“Over the past several weeks, I’ve worked tirelessly alongside members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus and with Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to move negotiations on the next COVID-19 relief package forward. We are pleased to report that we were successful. As a direct result of our work, this measure will deliver substantial additional federal aid to support our nation through these turbulent times,” said Rep. John Katko.
“I am very proud of the work that we in the Problem Solvers did to come together, work our colleagues in the Senate, and come up with a bipartisan compromise that provided our leadership a path to yes,” said Rep. Jimmy Panetta. “Our communities have waited too long for another federal relief package, which has left many of our families, small businesses, hospitals, and frontline workers left to carry much of the economic burdens of this pandemic. Fortunately, the bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill is a critical step forward to getting us through this difficult winter. Nevertheless, more needs to be done, and with a new administration next year, we’ll need a stimulus package to get our economy back on its feet and moving forward.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate families and small businesses across our nation, and I am proud to have worked alongside the Problem Solvers Caucus to present a framework that will provide much-needed relief,” said Rep. Elaine Luria. “This framework proves that bipartisanship is necessary to overcome this unprecedented public health emergency and economic crisis.”
“Since September, the Problem Solvers have urged leaders to put country over party for the sake of the American people. This pandemic has ravaged our communities, and people are desperate for relief and need it immediately, ” said Rep. Scott Peters. “This bipartisan, bicameral deal will not provide all the urgent help that is needed; the ongoing crisis requires additional support for state and local governments who are bearing the brunt of the pain. But the bill will help a lot of people who need aid now, and then we must get back to work and do more.”
“I'm pleased to support this targeted emergency relief package that delivers overdue support to the people of Pennsylvania and our country. This bipartisan legislation will provide additional funding for families, small businesses, hospitals, schools and transportation, while ensuring the efficient distribution of safe and effective vaccines. Importantly, it will add deductibility for PPP expenses and improved PPP initiatives for those in the hospitality industry that have suffered from forced shutdowns. The Problem Solvers Caucus deserves a tremendous amount of credit for getting this deal across the finish line, doing so in a fiscally responsible manner that responds to the needs of the American people,” said Rep. Dan Meuser.
“Today’s bipartisan stimulus bill will deliver critical, targeted relief where it’s needed most,” said Rep. Kendra Horn. “Though I am disappointed it took so long to bring both parties back to the table to reach this agreement, today’s bill is an important step forward. I worked for months with the Problem Solvers Caucus to build bipartisan, bicameral support for a deal. It required us to set aside politics and address the greatest needs in our communities in a timely, targeted, and transparent way. There’s more to do to address the health and economic impacts from COVID-19. We can’t stop here. Finding common ground takes hard work, but it’s worth it to do the right thing for the people and communities we represent.”
“The proposal the Problem Solvers Caucus crafted is proof that we can overcome gridlock when we roll up our sleeves and work together, in a bipartisan way, to meet the moment,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal. “Millions of Americans are on the verge of eviction, poverty, and food insecurity. They have waited too long for Congress to do its job, and I’m pleased we have finally delivered long overdue relief.”
“With so many Americans out of work, small businesses on the brink of permanent closure, and families struggling to make ends meet, I’m relieved to have helped Congress reach an agreement and pass another COVID relief package that will provide immediate aid to individuals and communities. Through the hard work and bipartisan effort of the Problem Solvers Caucus, we’ve been able to shape the framework of this deal and keep congressional leaders at the negotiating table to put forth a solution that will provide relief to the people who need it most. I remain confident that America will get through this crisis and thrive on the other side, and I’m going to continue doing everything I can to maintain that bridge to get us there,” said Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.
“I’m a former CIA officer and Pentagon official, where you literally come to the table every single day focused on the mission,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin said. “It is about what you need to do to keep the American people safe. I can’t overstate how valuable it is to be able to deliver something for the American people, demonstrating in real time how government should work. It means that there is still a pilot light of hope of bipartisanship that we can build on to get things done. It’s what people expect of us. I couldn’t be happier that that the many, many months of working to try and bridge the divide worked, and I congratulate the Problem Solvers leadership and the team.”
Rep. Tom O’Halleran said, “Suffering families, hospitals, small businesses, and senior citizens across Arizona are tired of waiting for Congress to get its act together. We need action, not partisan politics. I’m proud that our bipartisan, bicameral outreach helped to finally restart large-scale negotiations in the Capitol, and led to the package we are voting on today.”
"I'm proud of the work that the Problem Solvers Caucus did along with a bipartisan group of senators to put together a compromise COVID-19 relief bill that the American people desperately need. If it were not for our work, nothing would have gotten done. I'm glad to see party leaders used the careful bipartisan compromises that our group negotiated to deliver this much needed relief to the American people," said Rep. Dan Lipinski.