Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Support COVID-19 Relief and Government Funding Bill
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan today voted in support of a long-awaited COVID-19 relief bill that will accelerate the distribution of safe vaccines to as many Americans as possible as soon as possible, support our small businesses and assist all Americans in providing for their families and helping to ensure their financial security. The COVID-19 relief bill was passed as part of the House Appropriations bill funding the government until September 30, 2021 – Ryan is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
“While I’m pleased Congress has finally passed this much needed COVID-19 relief, which will bring long-needed resources to families and small businesses all across this country, it is important to stress that this is only a down payment. We must continue working to pass another larger relief package that will help keep the American people afloat until we get through this public health crisis that has taken too many lives and this economic crisis that has taken too many livelihoods,” said Congressman Ryan.
“I am proud this relief package included additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), funding to accelerate the distribution of vaccines, support for mental health and substance use disorder programs, rental assistance for families struggling to stay in their homes and an extension of the eviction moratorium, and nutrition assistance for those facing food insecurity. And while I’m proud of these programs and many others that I have fought for in the bill, I am disappointed that the $600 cash payment and the $300 in Enhanced Unemployment benefits are not higher. This is not enough for the millions of Americans who have been struggling to make ends meet for the last nine months. In the next relief package, I will be continuing to fight to include my legislation that provides a $2,000 recurring payment to every American until employment returns to pre-COVID-19 levels,” added Congressman Ryan.
Other provisions of the bill supported by Congressman Ryan include:
- Forgivable PPP loans and expanded eligibility for nonprofits and local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters, and key modifications to PPP to better assist independent restaurants.
- $15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.
- As a Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Ryan secured funding for two additional new C-130J aircraft for the Air Force Reserve. These two aircraft build on four planes Congressman Ryan secured in last year’s Defense spending bill which were later reduced to only two in FY2020 due to President Trump’s reprogramming of two planes for his border wall construction. The Youngstown Air Reserve Station houses the 910th Airlift Wing, which utilizes older models of C-130 aircraft for its unique aerial spray mission as well as combat support. In January of 2020, Air Force Reserve Command announced the 910th Airlift Wing was one of two finalists to receive any new C-130J aircraft.
- Additional funding for additive manufacturing research and development, laser research, innovative cooling material for military equipment, and other projects. Congressman
- Ryan authored a Buy American provision into the bill that would require the Pentagon to report to Congress every time it waives rules for domestic sourcing requirements (rules referred to as the Berry Amendment).
- Ryan authored language requiring the military to begin studying how to incorporate baseline brain injury testing of servicemembers when they enter military to better judge if a servicemember later acquires a traumatic brain injury.
- Concerned about a growing obesity problem in the armed forces, Ryan secured language that requires pilot programs to reform the military nutrition and dining system.
- $74 million secured for whole health initiatives for veterans and language to create a pilot program called VetsCorps which provides jobs for veterans to conduct outreach to at-risk veterans.
Ryan was also instrumental in securing funding for initiatives that will enhance the economy in northeastern Ohio including:
- $5 M in funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Programs
- $5 M for energy-focused incubators like BRITE Energy Incubator in Warren, OH
- $395 M for Advanced Manufacturing
- $10 M for Advanced Battery Manufacturing Center of Excellence
- $10 M for the Army Corps to restore the aquatic ecosystem of polluted rivers (like the Mahoning River)
- $2 M for the Army Corps to clear downed trees and other debris from rivers.
- $180 Million for the Appalachian Regional Commission
Additional provisions of the bill supported by the Democratic Caucus include:
- $13 billion in increased SNAP and child nutrition benefits to help relieve the COVID hunger crisis;
- $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools and $10 billion for child care assistance to help get parents back to work and keep child care providers open; and
- An additional $3.36 billion for a total of $4 billion for GAVI, the international vaccine alliance, recognizing that we are not truly safe until the whole world is safe from the coronavirus.
- Includes a one year extension of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC).
A copy of the 5,593 page bill may be found here.