Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, released this statement following President Trump signing the COVID-19 relief—government funding omnibus into law. Senator Collins and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) co-led the bipartisan, bicameral “908 Coalition” that developed the framework for the COVID-19 relief package.
“The President’s decision to sign the bipartisan COVID emergency relief bill into law is welcome news for the American people.
“The agreement that our bipartisan, bicameral group negotiated was the foundation for this much-needed assistance. The law extends the Paycheck Protection Program I coauthored and allows our hardest-hit small businesses, such as restaurants and others in the hospitality sector, to receive a second forgivable PPP loan. This additional assistance will help prevent small businesses from having to shut their doors for good, allow them to continue paying their employees, and cover certain overhead costs, such as modifications to comply with public health guidelines. A new program I authored with Congressman Jared Golden will also provide targeted assistance to loggers for the first time.
“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 that have been challenged to operate safely in a COVID environment; assists the overwhelmed Postal Service; and provides assistance to our airlines, airports, mass transit, and bus and motorcoach companies that keep our country moving.
“The package also fully funds our government through September 2021 and provides significant investments including strengthening our defense and assisting our veterans to providing funding for biomedical research and public health to supporting transportation and economic development programs that will help our country as we make progress to defeat the pandemic.”