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Local reps explain votes as Congress passes $900 billion stimulus package

U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Mike Bost, who each represent parts of Metro East, voted Monday in support of a $900 billion stimulus package that provides additional COVID-19 relief dealing with unemployment, $600 stimuls checks for many taxpayers and vaccine vaccine production and distribution, among many key priorities. The measure passed both House and Senate and was sent to President Trump for his signature.

“I’m glad that Speaker Pelosi finally relented on her multi-trillion-dollar liberal wish list and agreed to support bipartisan, targeted COVID-19 relief,” Davis, a Tahylorville Republican, said in a statement. “While I wish Congressional leaders could’ve come to an agreement on liability protections and additional support for local governments, this legislation provides vitally-needed support for small businesses, workers forced out of a job due to government orders, farmers, and many others who have been hurt by this pandemic.”

Bost was also critical of Democrats for stretching out the process unnecessary. The bipartisan and bicameral bill includes funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, vaccine and testing funding, and $600 direct payments for adults and dependents.

“Had Speaker Pelosi put the needs of the American public above her own partisan agenda, we could have saved countless jobs and businesses months ago,” said Bost, a Republican from Mursphysboro. “While it shouldn’t have taken until the 11th hour, I am thankful that help is on the way. Hardworking Southern Illinois families, frontline workers, and small businesses, through no fault of their own, have been devastated by COVID-19 shutdowns. This legislation will provide desperately needed relief to millions of Americans this holiday season and, combined with the successes of Operation Warp Speed, gives us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

The legislation also provides huge support for production and distribution of coronavirus vaccines, which will help us return to normal next year. In the weeks and months ahead, Congress must provide thorough oversight of these programs to ensure that they function as intended and provide Americans the support they need to get through these challenging times.”

Also included in the legislation were several provisions requested by Davis, including a five-year extension of his student loan repayment plan and funding for the study required by law to have the 1908 Springfield Race Riot Site added as a unit of the National Park System.

“I’m proud that legislation voted on tonight included several provisions we have been working on for years,” Davis said. “A five-year extension of our ‘Employer Participation in Repayment Act’ will continue a public-private partnership to lower student debt responsibly. Our plan protects taxpayers while providing meaningful, tax-free student debt relief for workers. That should be the approach to tackle our nation’s student debt crisis.

“This legislation also includes funding for the study required by law to have the 1908 Springfield Race Riot Site added as a Unit of the National Park System. This funding is a critical step towards giving the Site the recognition it deserves and ensuring that future generations of Americans will never forget about the innocent lives that were lost.”

The COVID-19 relief legislation:

• Extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and adds deductibility for PPP expenses
• Gives businesses experiencing severe revenue reductions an opportunity to apply for a second draw PPP loan
• Includes 501(c)(6) organizations but excludes unions from eligibility
• $15 billion in funding for entertainment venues, movie theaters, and museums that are experiencing significant revenue loss
• Codifies federal rules that ensure churches and faith-based organizations are eligible for PPP loans
• Reopening America
• $20 billion for purchase of vaccines that will make the vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it
• $8 billion for vaccine distribution
• $20 billion to assist states with testing
• $20 billion distribution from existing provider relief fund
• Stimulus checks — $600 for both adults and dependents
• Temporarily extends a number of unemployment programs created by CARES Act that expire Dec. 31, 2020
• Provide unemployed individuals an additional $300 per week for 10 weeks from December 26, 2020-March 14, 2021
• Extends and phases-out PUA, which is a temporary federal program covering self-employed and gig workers, to March 14 (after which no new applicants) through April 5, 2021
• $10 billion for grants to childcare centers to help providers safely reopen
• $4 billion for substance abuse – significant progress made over past several years on opioid addiction has been reversed because of impact of COVID lockdowns
• $82 billion in funding for schools and universities to assist with reopening for in-person learning that also includes $2.75 billion in designated funds for private K through 12 education
• $25 billion in temporary and targeted rental assistance for individuals who lost their source of income during the pandemic
• Extends the eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021
• $7 billion in broadband funding that includes
1. Nearly $2 billion to replace foreign manufactured broadband equipment that poses national security threats
2. $300 million to build out rural broadband
3. $250 million for telehealth

• $45 billion for transportation, including
1.$16 billion for another round of airline employee and contractor payroll support
2. $14 billion for transit
3. $10 billion for highways
4. $2 billion for intercity buses
5. $2 billion for airports
6. $1 billion for Amtrak

• Increases SNAP benefits by 15 percent for six months, but does not expand eligibility, and requires the Secretary to issue a report on redemption rate and unexpended balances
• Provides funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a program that serves over 700,000 older Americans monthly
• $13 billion to support our farmers and agriculture sector
• Enhances assistance under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to support specialty crop, non-specialty crop, livestock, dairy, and poultry producers
• Gives discretionary authority to the Secretary to support producers of biofuels, producers of organics or value-added products, and timber harvesting and hauling businesses
• Additional funding is directed to programs that support local producers and new and beginning farmers, dairy producers, dairy processors via reimbursement for donated dairy products, fisheries, textile mills, agricultural research, small and medium size meat processors, and to state departments of agriculture for farm stress programs


  1. Mark E. Clark on December 23, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Everyone of you should be ashamed of yourselves for voting on a 5500 page bill that you didn’t even read. This is the status quo for our representatives. Why did you vote for a bil you didn’t read?

  2. Terry Leggans on December 28, 2020 at 8:36 am

    I will never vote for either parties again…
    Proof that both of these parties are self serving the socialist takeover of these country.
    By the way gender studies In Pakistan… Tar and feather

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