Rep. Katko Votes to Pass Bipartisan, Bicameral Pandemic Relief Bill Spearheaded by Katko & Colleagues in Problem Solvers Caucus

Katko: Package Will Provide Continued Support for Local Pandemic Response & Direct Relief to Central New York Families, Small Businesses, Hospitals, Schools

Washington – U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) today released the following statement after voting in support of COVID-19 relief legislation:

“Today, I voted in support of legislation to give necessary and long overdue relief to our communities. 

“For the many local small businesses facing continued financial strain, this bill provides additional direct relief and extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help them remain open and keep workers on payroll. It also includes significant relief for local schools, hospitals, and will help accelerate the distribution of newly approved COVID-19 vaccines. And importantly, the measure will provide a critical lifeline to individuals and families by extending enhanced unemployment, issuing a second round of stimulus checks, strengthening childcare assistance, and increasing nutrition benefits.

“It has taken far too long to reach a compromise and deliver this aid.  Throughout this process, I worked with my fellow members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to help re-ignite negotiations and push leaders in both the House and Senate to resume negotiations by crafting a COVID-19 relief package that formed the basis for the final package passed by the House tonight.  While this package does not include everything we’ve advocated for, it is a substantial start in providing impactful, direct relief for Central New York to help us through these turbulent times. There is more Congress can do, and I remain firm in my commitment to partnering with local government officials and community leaders to address local need.”

Background:

Earlier this year, Rep. Katko unveiled compromise COVID-19 relief framework which he helped author alongside the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. This framework laid the foundation for the relief legislation which passed the House tonight. Like the Problem Solvers Caucus’s proposal, the bill includes relief for small businesses and healthcare providers, funds for the production and distribution of vaccines, direct aid for working families, and support for schools and childcare.

The bill also includes the following initiatives led by Rep. Katko:

  • Includes Katko-authored legislation to extend the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) into 2021 to strengthen the economy and save local jobs
  • Ensures that business owners can claim tax deduction for expenses covered by a forgiven PPP loan. 
  • $250 million for FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program
  • Increases Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) benefits by 15% for six months to address rising food insecurity and high demand at local food banks
  • Authorizes $250 million for Head Start to support local early education providers
  • $20 billion for the Provider Relief Fund to support local healthcare providers
  • $4.25 for mental health and substance use disorder treatment programs 
  • $82 billion for grants to provide emergency support to local school systems and higher education institutions to continue to provide educational services and support on-going functionality of school districts and institutions
  • Extends tax provisions covering sick and family leave policies and expanding job opportunities in underserved communities
  • Includes Craft Beverage Modernization Act, legislation Rep. Katko cosponsored to permanently extend Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions for CNY breweries and wineries
  • Extends the Work Opportunity Tax Credit through 2025, providing incentives to employers that hire individuals from underserved communities
  • Provides $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.
  • $10 billion for State Transportation Departments

 

Editors note: information provided by the Office of Congressman John Katko