Suozzi and Dems Advance Key Provisions of President Biden’s COVID Relief Package
WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island, Queens) and the House Ways and Means Committee advanced key provisions of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which will provide a new round of stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, assistance to families in need and direct aid to restaurants, live entertainment venues, and small businesses. Also included in the larger bill is much-needed aid to state and local governments, who have been on the front lines battling the pandemic since March.
“The pandemic has been cruelly uneven. Some have been unscathed, while others have done well, working remotely, not knowing anyone who has gotten sick or died in their immediate circle,” said Suozzi. “Twenty-five percent of people who made under $40,000 are unemployed. 17 percent of Americans are utilizing the help of food banks. 1 in 6 people can't pay their rent. The provisions advanced today out of committee will provide much-needed relief to millions of New Yorkers and those in dire need of relief. Congress must pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan immediately. People need relief now.”
Under the House proposal, New York is slated to receive over $23 billion, with $12.6 billion going to the State and another $10.6 billion going to counties and other municipalities.
“New York was one of the first and hardest-hit states during the pandemic. Carrying the financial burden of the pandemic response has fiscally decimated our state and local governments,” said Suozzi. “The unnecessary stonewalling is over. Help is on the way.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Suozzi has been steadfast in his advocacy for federal relief that will benefit New Yorkers, their families, and their businesses. In addition, Suozzi has remained adamant that any future COVID-19 relief package must include desperately needed funding for state and local governments, as well as targeted aid for restaurants, live-venues, and catering halls. Congress is slated to pass Biden’s plan by mid-March.
Video of Suozzi speaking in support of the need for COVID-19 relief during committee markup can be found here:
Background on the key provisions of the relief package:
State and Local Aid:
New York is slated to receive over $23 billion, with $12.6 billion going to the State and another $10.6 billion going to counties and other municipalities.
This money will be used to cover the cost of fighting the pandemic and to help make up lost revenue due to the economic shutdown.
A new round of direct payments of $1,400 to supplement the already-enacted $600 payments that were in the end-of-year package from 2020.
In New York, over 9.8 million individuals received stimulus checks following the first distribution of stimulus checks last spring.
Direct Aid for Restaurants, live venues, and catering halls:
A targeted grant program for struggling restaurants, catering halls, and live entertainment venues. The proposal stands at $25 billion and will be included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Under the proposal, individual restaurants or catering halls in New York could qualify for up to $10 million in aid.
The grant program would be overseen by the Small Businesses Administration and would be available to food and drinking establishments that are not part of a chain or franchise operating system with more than 20 locations. Under the proposed program, restaurants could use the grants to cover payroll, mortgages or rent, set up outdoor seating, provide personal protective equipment, provide paid leave for employees, or cover other expenses that have arisen because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earned Income and Child Tax Credits:
One-year expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. These changes will offer key support to low-income workers and greatly combat child poverty.
An extension of the temporary federal unemployment programs that increases the per-week federal supplemental benefit from $300 to $400 until September. If no action is taken, pandemic-related unemployment benefits are set to expire by March 14, cutting off a crucial lifeline for millions of American workers and families.
Since the pandemic began, 4,897,748 New Yorkers have filed for unemployment. An extension of unemployment assistance would greatly benefit New Yorkers who are struggling at no fault of their own.