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Houlahan Passes Bipartisan COVID Relief Deal

Final package includes her bill to help small businesses keep people on the payroll

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) helped to pass a long-awaited, long-overdue bipartisan COVID relief deal. Representative Houlahan is a member of the bi-partisan and bi-cameral Problem Solvers Caucus, and much of what is in the final negotiated legislation was proposed by this group. Included in the package is her Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, which will expedite forgiveness for recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less, further helping small business owners keep their workers employed during this crisis.

“I have been clear from the start: our community and Commonwealth needed relief yesterday,” said Houlahan. “That’s why I’ve been working alongside Democrats and Republicans to get a deal passed. Make no mistake: this deal is not end all be all. It is a down-payment of sorts to deliver immediate relief and to hopefully help Pennsylvanians weather these next very difficult weeks. I am very grateful to have earned wide bipartisan support for my PPP legislation, which will help our smallest of small business owners retain their workers and keep Pennsylvanians employed.

“As we look toward a transition to a new administration, I will continue negotiating to get another, more favorable deal on the table - particularly one that addresses the needs of state and local governments as they navigate vaccine distribution. This crisis is not over, and we as elected representatives have a responsibility to continue to rise to the occasion and meet the needs of the American people.”

Included in this package:

  • Houlahan’s bipartisan Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act
  • A second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for smaller and harder-hit businesses that still need relief
  • Authorization for certain nonprofit organizations to receive PPP funds and $15B in grants for the live event industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic
  • Modifications to other small business loan programs (such as 7(a) loans) to help more small businesses weather the crisis
  • Additional assistance for small businesses in low income communities through the EIDL advance program
  • Clarifies that deductions are allowed for expenses paid with proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan
  • Extension of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which will provide an additional $300/week until March 14, 2021, and extends coverage for self-employed and gig workers, as well as those who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits
  • $166B in direct payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 ($1,200 for couples making up to $150,000) and $600 per eligible child dependent.
  • $25B for Emergency Rental Assistance and an extension of the eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021. Rep. Houlahan recently advocated for an extension until March 2021.
  • Additional funding for farmers, including $100M for specialty crop farmers, like mushroom growers, and supplemental assistance to the dairy industry
  • $1.7B for HBCUs, including Lincoln University
  • $3B to provide grants and other financial assistance to CDFIs as they serve consumers, small businesses, and non-profits in their communities, including reserved funds for minority lending institutions
  • $300M grant program to support broadband infrastructure deployment to areas lacking broadband, especially rural areas
  • 15% increase in the monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit through June 2021 and $400 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program
  • $250M for the FCC’s COVID-19 telehealth program and $300M to support broadband infrastructure deployment in underserved areas
  • Establish an office to focus on broadband adoption and access to HBCUs and other MSIs
  • Extends the date by which state and local governments can use CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds through December 2021
  • $8.75B for vaccine distribution through state and local governments as well as nearly $20B for vaccine manufacturing and procurement
  • $10B for child care providers
  • More than $27B for transportation, including airports, highways, Amtrak, and transit agencies

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She’s in her first term representing Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Small Business Committee.