Washington, D.C.—This evening, the final Covid-19 emergency relief package was released, which was based on the framework developed by a bipartisan, bicameral group led by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Mark Warner (D-VA). Their group includes Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) and Tom Reed (R-NY-23).
Senator Collins released this statement on the agreement:
“This agreement on an emergency Covid-19 relief package will provide much-needed relief for the American people. Our bipartisan, bicameral coalition led the way, working night and day to develop the commonsense plan and budget recommendations that jump-started these negotiations and provided the foundation for this final agreement.
“This package extends the Paycheck Protection Program I coauthored and allows our hardest-hit small businesses, such as our restaurants and others in the hospitality sector, to receive a second PPP loan to keep them from shutting their doors for good and to allow them to pay their employees and certain overhead costs, such as for modifications to comply with public health guidelines. The compromise also provides urgently needed housing, nutrition, and unemployment compensation to struggling families, appropriates additional funding for testing, vaccine distribution, and provider assistance to our stressed health care system, allocates funding for schools challenged to operate safely in a COVID environment, assists the overwhelmed Postal Service, and provides assistance to our airlines, airports, mass transit, and motorcoach companies that keep our country moving. From the beginning, I urged the leaders not to adjourn for Christmas without passing COVID relief. I am pleased that we will deliver this vital legislation before going home.”