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DelBene Shapes Bipartisan COVID-19 Deal, Calls for More Relief

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) announced that several of her priorities were included in the bipartisan COVID-19 relief deal that was reached between House and Senate leaders over the weekend. The House approved the legislation today with DelBene’s support.

“Compromise is difficult but in a time of divided government, it’s the only way we get things done. This important deal will provide meaningful relief to Americans during this challenging time and I secured several provisions in the package. It is only a portion of what is needed to help families across the country and for what our economy is facing,” said DelBene. “This virus will not simply vanish starting next year and additional relief must be Congress’ top priority going forward. As the incoming Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, I am ready to work with congressional leaders and a new, engaged White House to craft additional relief legislation immediately.”

DelBene’s priorities have been centered around providing relief to workers, families, small businesses, and strengthening our public health response. Provisions she secured in the deal include:

  • Incentivize the hiring and retention of workers through a 70 percent credit on up to $10,000 of wages per employee per quarter by enhancing the Employee Retention Tax Credit and allow the credit to work with Paycheck Protection Program loans. DelBene has been pushing to expand the credit to help keep businesses open and workers off unemployment.
  • Providing more money to families by allowing them to use their 2019 earnings when calculating their 2020 Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. DelBene is a lead sponsor of legislation that would also increase the Child Tax Credit amount and provide payments monthly.
  • Creating over 130,000 more affordable homes by making these housing developments more financially secure. DelBene introduced bipartisan legislation that would increase affordable housing production by expanding on the proven success of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
  • Extending how long state, local, and tribal governments can use CARES Act funding to help support the public health response to COVID-19 and pay police, firefighters, teachers, and other essential workers. DelBene’s district has been responding to COVID-19 the longest and frontline responders need resources to keep fighting the virus.
  • Expanding telehealth access for seniors seeking mental health care through a bill DelBene introduced.

This agreement is the most significant COVID-19 relief legislation to pass Congress since the CARES Act in March. Many of the provisions in the CARES Act have run out of funding or expire at the end of the year and this package will extend those programs into 2021 and provide additional funding. The bill also includes:

  • $600 stimulus checks for adults and children
  • $300 per week in renewed unemployment assistance
  • $284 billion in small business loans
  • $82 billion to help reopen schools and colleges
  • $73 billion for the public health response, including vaccine distribution, testing, and contact tracing
  • $25 billion in rental assistance and an extended eviction moratorium
  • $13 billion in nutritional support
  • $7 billion to increase access to broadband

The bill also funds the federal government through the end of Fiscal Year 2021 and includes legislation that will end surprise medical bills. 

More information about the package can be found here.