Johnson Praises House Passage of COVID-19 Relief Bill
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) issued a statement following the bipartisan U.S. House passage of a COVID-19 relief package, an effort Johnson has spearheaded with the Problem Solvers Caucus since September.
“Congress finally got its act together. I was proud to vote in support of a tailored COVID-19 relief package that supports our small businesses, schools, and hurting American families,” said Johnson. “It wasn’t a perfect bill, but it’s a good one. While it took far too long to get here, we got a good bill across the finish line. The Problem Solvers Caucus was instrumental in getting this done, and I am grateful I had the chance to be a part of historic bipartisan efforts that serve America.
This is an extraordinary measure that meets an extraordinary challenge. With the distribution of a vaccine, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m pleased this bill repurposes funds from previous legislation appropriating only an additional $325 billion. As we turn the corner, Congress needs to prioritize an orderly budget process and fund the government in a fiscally sustainable way.”
The relief package, included in the end of the year omnibus spending deal, includes the following Johnson priorities:
- Provides $325 billion to support struggling businesses, including an additional $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). During the first round of PPP 23,469 South Dakota businesses received a loan which allowed them to keep their employees on payroll.
- Allows expenses paid by the PPP loan to be tax deductible in 2020 and streamlines forgiveness for loans under $150,000. These requests came from dozens of South Dakota small businesses.
- Provides $20 billion for increased testing across the country, $20 billion to ensure vaccine is available to all at no cost, and $8 billion for vaccine distribution.
- Provides $82 billion for schools, including tribal schools and colleges.
- Provides $13 billion to support our farmers and ranchers and gives direction to USDA to provide a supplemental payment to livestock producers as partial compensation for disparities between CFAP 1 and CFAP 2. Additionally, biofuels will be eligible for assistance under CFAP, a change of policy under the CARES Act.
- Provides indemnities for producers who had to depopulate livestock due to supply chain delays and makes needed investments in small and medium meat processors.
- Provides $600 in direct payments to individual Americans and $600 per dependent for individuals making less than $75,000 or married couples making $150,000.
- Provides a one-year extension for state & local & tribal funding provided in the CARES Act, a priority of the South Dakota delegation.
- Includes Johnson led language to invest $250 million in telehealth.