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Carbajal votes to pass COVID-19 relief package 

Representative Salud Carbajal templeton women in business

Representative Salud Carbajal.

–This week, Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) voted to pass a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package. The relief package passed as part of the FY21 Appropriations Package, which funds the government through October 2021. The bill passed the House by a vote of 359 to 53.

“Each day, more businesses on the Central Coast and across the country are forced to close and lay off their workers. Families are facing eviction and food insecurity, kids are falling behind in school, and hospitals are swelling with patients. Today, I’m pleased to say that more help is on the way,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I’m glad we were able to rise above the gridlock that so often plagues Congress and finally deliver the relief Central Coast residents needed months ago. This package is far from perfect, but it is a crucial down payment to meet our nation’s immediate needs. I will keep fighting for more support as needed so we can get through this pandemic and back on our feet.”

Carbajal is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers who worked together to craft the framework this relief package was built on.

Key measures related to COVID-19 include:

Unemployment assistance: Provides $300 per week in supplemental federal unemployment beginning as soon as Dec 27 and lasting through March 14.

Housing security: Extends the eviction moratorium to Jan. 31, provides $25 billion in federal rental assistance, and strengthens the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

Direct payments: Provides a $600 direct payment to adults earning under $75,000 and $1200 to households earning under $150,000. Provides $600 per dependent child, so a family of four can receive up to $2400.

Business and economic recovery: Provides $325 billion in funding to facilitate a strong economic recovering, including:
-A second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, plus the ability to make expenses associated with forgiven loans tax-deductible.
-$15 billion for live music venues and other cultural institutions.
-$15 billion to help airlines reinstate furloughed workers.
-Expands eligibility for PPP loans to nonprofits and news outlets.

Vaccine distribution: Includes $20 billion for vaccine procurement and over $8 billion for distribution, which makes the vaccine available at no cost for anyone who needs it.

Pandemic mitigation: Provides states with $20 billion to assist with testing and contact tracing programs.

Food security: Sets aside $13 billion to increase SNAP benefits by 15% and allocates $13 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers to offset losses from COVID-19.

Schools and child care: Provides $82 billion to get students back to school and parents back to work.

Over $54 billion for K-12 education: $22.7 billion for colleges, including $1.7 billion set aside for minority serving institutions. $10 billion in emergency assistance for the child care sector. Repeals a ban preventing incarcerated students from qualifying for Pell grants.

Internet connectivity: Includes $7 billion in broadband funding to keep Americans connected. Sets aside $300 million specifically to improve rural broadband access and includes $250 million for telehealth.

A one-page summary of the bill is available here. More detailed section-by-section summaries can be found here. Full bill text is available here.


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