BPC Action Applauds Bipartisan End to 2020, Urges Continued Collaboration in New Congress in Budget and Appropriations, Children, Economics and Finance, Education and Workforce, Energy and Environment, Government Reform, Health, Higher Education, Housing, Immigration, Paid Parental Leave

We applaud Congress for reaching an agreement on appropriations, COVID relief, and several other critical measures that align with BPC priorities. These lay the groundwork for continued bipartisan action in the new year:

  • Broadband Access: Critical funding of $7 billion, including $250 million for broadband for telehealth services, to increase access as Americans across the country rely on the internet for learning, work, and health care
  • Child Care: $10 billion to create a new Child Care Stabilization Fund grant program at the HHS to provide grants for child care providers who bolster the economy, which includes an extension of CARES Act flexibilities that ensure states can use funds effectively and efficiently, and in a way that best meets their needs
  • Congressional Reform: Extension of the House Modernization Committee to continue its bipartisan work of improving the functions of the legislative branch
  • Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit: “Lookback” provisions that will provide more financial stability by allowing workers to use either their 2020 or 2019 earnings when calculating this year’s credits
  • Energy Innovation: Funding to boost energy technology programs that advance vital innovation, including energy storage, carbon capture, carbon removal, and other valuable technologies
  • Health Care: Crucial public health funding, including $29 billion for vaccines and vaccine distribution and $22 billion for testing, contact tracing, and mitigation efforts; $9 billion for health care providers; increased funding for nutrition assistance; an expansion of access to telehealth for mental health services; an end to surprise medical billing; and new opportunities for rural hospitals to transform to better meet the needs of their communities
  • Higher Education: Another round of direct aid to institutions, an extension of the student loan suspension, and additional investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions
  • Housing: $25 billion in assistance to prevent evictions
  • Immigration: Inclusion of mixed-status households, where one spouse has a Social Security number and one does not, in direct relief payments 
  • Paid Leave: Extension through March of a COVID-related tax credit to support employers offering paid sick and family leave to workers, and extension to 2025 of the Family Leave Tax Credit under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which gives employers a credit for providing paid family and medical leave
  • Unemployment Insurance: 16-week extension of a weekly $300 benefit that is better calibrated to previous earnings and funding to modernize states’ systems

This deal signifies the first step, not the last, to providing much-needed relief to American workers and families. BPC Action stands ready to continue the bipartisan momentum around these critical issues in the 117th Congress.