Appropriators release text of omnibus-COVID-19 relief bill
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., this afternoon released the text and summaries of the $1.4 trillion fiscal year 2021 omnibus appropriations bill and the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill.
The legislation, a product of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations, is expected to be considered in the House and Senate today and signed by President Donald Trump, although the votes could go late into the evening. The current continuing resolution funding the government expires at midnight.
The House has begun debating the rule and will also debate the bill.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., has told members that voting will begin on the rule about 5 p.m. A vote on the bill will follow.
“As I prepare to depart the House after 32 years of service, I could not be more pleased that we are concluding this Congress with a bipartisan agreement to provide the certainty of full-year funding for all of government and urgently needed coronavirus relief to save lives and livelihoods,” Lowey said in a news release. “Because of the leadership of congressional Democrats, this spending agreement contains funding increases for critical priorities and strong emergency relief to crush the virus and put more money in people’s pockets. I know that Democrats will continue to build on this initial step to bring this crisis to an end, make our country safer and stronger, and give more people a better chance at a better life.”
Lowey’s news release contained links to the text and summaries of sections of the bill.
Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in an email to The Hagstrom Report, “As the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, I worked to ensure that the COVID-19 relief bill supports our farmers and ranchers, providing an additional $13 billion for the agriculture industry. The COVID relief includes important support for both farmers and ranchers, building on rounds 1 and 2 of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Our producers have worked hard to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, and this additional support will help them continue to provide our nation with the food, fuel and fiber we need.”
“I am pleased we have finally reached a deal,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said in a news release. “The American people expect us to do our job, and after many months of work on this legislation, I am hopeful we can swiftly advance the bipartisan package through Congress and on to the president’s desk. Funding the government, including our Armed Forces, is our fundamental responsibility. Providing relief to struggling Americans and businesses is paramount as our nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. This year has been unprecedented in a number of ways. Completing our work is all the more important. I urge my colleagues to support this package.”
In a separate news release, Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said, “This agreement is the product of weeks of hard work and compromise. This is not the bill I would have written on my own. It includes things I support and things I oppose. But on balance, passage of this bill is unquestionably in the interest of the American people, and both the House and the Senate should act on it quickly.”
House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a joint news release on the COVID-19 provisions, “We are going to crush the virus and put money in the pockets of the American people.”
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