Crist Statement as COVID Relief Bill Heads to House Floor

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) released a statement ahead of House passage of H.R. 133, a $900 billion coronavirus relief legislative package to provide additional support to American families and businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, and secure the fast and efficient distribution of the novel vaccine to eradicate the virus.

The legislation, which is expected to pass later today, comes following weeks of bicameral, bipartisan negotiations. The relief package will also include $1.4 trillion to keep the government open for fiscal year 2021, completing the fiscal work of the government and safeguarding the nation from the threat of a government shutdown.

Notably featured in the COVID relief legislation are provisions:

  • Providing another round of direct economic payments, $600 per individuals and dependents;
  • Restoring federal unemployment assistance, with a $300 per week federal add-on and 11 additional weeks, through March 2021. Benefits for self-employed individuals, gig workers, and those who’ve exhausted state benefits have been extended;
  • Providing a $325 billion lifeline for small businesses, including $284 billion for a second round of forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans, $20 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Grants, including the full $10,000 for small businesses in low-income communities;
  • $15 billion in Save Our Stages relief for live venues, theaters, and museums;
  • Extending the federal moratorium on evictions through end of January 2021 and including $25 billion in rental assistance for families who owe back rent;
  • Getting students safely back to school with $82 billion for K-12 public schools, and colleges and universities, including ventilation and HVAC to keep kids in school and safe;
  • Taking steps to eradicate COVID-19, with $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines so every person who wants a vaccine can to receive one for free, $9 billion for vaccine distribution, and $22 billion for states to fund COVID testing, contact tracing, and other mitigation programs.
“At the outbreak of this pandemic, I promised you, my bosses, the people of Florida’s 13th District, that I would do what it took to help us get to the other side of this crisis,” said Rep. Crist. “Today I remain just as fervently committed to that promise. While this compromise could certainly do more to help struggling families and small businesses, it remains one of the largest relief packages in American history – second only to the CARES Act. I will continue to do whatever it takes to lift our community and nation out of this pandemic, and I will never stop fighting for you.”

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