Cornyn statement on COVID relief negotiations

News

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after negotiations between Democrats and the White House on the next coronavirus relief bill stalled:

“Republicans proposed more than $1 trillion for PPE, testing, vaccine development, schools, hospitals, small businesses, and unemployed Texans who continue to struggle,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Republicans also tried multiple times to extend unemployment benefits, and offered concessions in an effort to deliver relief.”

“Senator Schumer and the Democrats refused to compromise and insisted on an unrelated wish list including tax breaks for millionaires in New York and marijuana subsidies. Texas nurses, children, teachers, and small business owners who continue to be left out in the cold have no one but Senator Schumer to thank.”

Background:

Last month, Senate Republicans introduced the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act, which would:

  • Support Texas workers and their jobs:
    • Extends an added federal unemployment insurance benefit for Texans out of work
    • Provides $1,200 direct assistance payments to Texans earning less than $75,000 annually
    • Extends employee retention tax credit to help stabilize Texas jobs
    • Adds $90 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, in addition to the more than $130 billion still remaining in the program
    • Expands the Paycheck Protection Program to include Main Street advocates and 501(c)(6)s
  • Support educators and students at all levels:
    • Extends student loan deferment program from CARES Act
    • Provides $70 billion in federal funding for K-12 schools
    • Provides $29 billion in direct funds for higher education
    • Provides $5 billion for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund
  • Support our health care workers in fighting the coronavirus:
    • Provides an additional $25 billion for healthcare provider relief fund
    • Adds $16 billion for testing, contact tracing, and surveillance, on top of $9 billion still available from previous bills
    • Adds $26 billion for vaccine development
    • Adds $15.5 billion to NIH for research
    • Appropriates $4.5 billion to care for Americans’ mental health, suicide prevention, and substance use disorder services
    • Provides $7.6 billion for Community Health Centers

o   Provides $225 million for rural health clinics

  • Protects frontline health care workers (as well as charities, educators, and small businesses) following public health guidelines from expensive and timely lawsuits
  • Care for our children through the pandemic:
    • Includes an additional $15 billion for childcare assistance
    • Cares for foster youth, including kids aging out of the system, with $50 million and increased flexibility in program requirements
    • Appropriates $10 million for state courts handling child abuse and neglect cases
  • Aid farmers and ranchers and facilitate the food supply chain:
    • Adds $20 billion in direct assistance for the agricultural industry and strengthens the farm safety net
  • Aid state and local governments:
    • Adds flexibility for state and local governments using CARES Act funds, of which at least 25% must still be passed to downstream governments

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.



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