Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

BISHOP CALLS FOR MORE COVID-19 RELIEF—SAYS TO DO NOTHING IS A DERELICTION OF DUTY

Dec 21, 2020
Press Release

COLUMBUS, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement regarding the passage of H.R. 133, the emergency COVID-19 relief and the FY21 funding bill by the full U.S House of Representatives:

“Georgia is long overdue for more COVID-19 relief, which is why I supported this bill even though I think it does not provide sufficient direct payments, unemployment benefits, or funding for state, local, and tribal governments. In the House, we passed the Heroes Act in two different forms in hopes the Senate Majority Leader would understand the urgency of more aid for the American people. Unfortunately, he rejected our bills containing $1200 direct payments, $600 per week unemployment benefits, and $436 billion for state, local, and tribal governments—and instead sought to protect the ultra-wealthy and hang working families out to dry.

“It is unacceptable and heartless. However insufficient I find this relief proposal; it is still better than nothing. If it had been up to the Senate Republicans, Georgians would have received nothing. People are struggling more now than at the beginning of this pandemic—to do nothing is a dereliction of duty.

“In the House, we continued to fight for Americans everywhere who continue to struggle through this pandemic. We were able to negotiate $600 direct payments, $300 weekly unemployment payments, increased nutrition assistance, rental assistance, and an extension of the eviction moratorium. The bill replenishes the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and recognizes we will not be able to revive our economy until we get this virus under control. This bill will accelerate free vaccine distribution to as many Americans as soon as possible, as well as increase testing and tracing efforts so we can finally crush the virus.

“Though I am critical of the COVID-19 relief, I am very pleased with the FY 21 funding bills as a whole. We made many strong investments in the future of the American people, for the pandemic and beyond. I will continue to fight for more relief for our citizens, state and local governments, and small businesses as we move into the next Congress.”

The COVID-19 section:

  • Provides $600 direct payments per adult and child
  • Enhanced $300 weekly unemployment benefits
  • Extends the eviction moratorium and provides rental assistance
  • Accelerates vaccine distribution and crushes the coronavirus 
  • Increases SNAP and child nutrition benefits
  • Delivers key tax benefits for struggling families 
  • Strong support for small businesses with replenished Paycheck Protection Program
  • Funds education, childcare, and students 
  • Delivers and improves affordable broadband access 
  • Secures key funding streams for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments 
  • Creates good-paying jobs in clean energy and infrastructure to fight the climate crisis 
  • Ends surprise billing 
  • Supports the global fight against COVID

The FY21 Funding Bill:

  • Expands broadband access for rural communities
  • Provides pathways to better schools
  • Supports servicemembers and military families
  • Honors our responsibilities to veterans
  • Supports hardworking taxpayers
  • Expands access to housing
  • Tackles food insecurity
  • Keeps our communities safe
  • Protects our environment
  • Combats climate change
  • Reverses harmful cuts to climate change programs
  • Fights for a more humane immigration approach
  • Combats the gun violence epidemic
  • Bolsters international security and stability

A summary of the FY 21 appropriations can be found here and authorizing matters here. A summary of the COVID-19 emergency relief section can be found here.