Senator Cornyn

Cornyn’s Key Texas Priorities, COVID Relief Included in Government Funding Bill

December 21, 2020

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today announced that he has successfully included his priorities for Texas listed below in the targeted coronavirus relief package and FY21 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which funds the federal government through September 30, 2021. The Senate will likely vote on this bill this evening, and video of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks on the legislation can be found here.

“This has been a difficult year for millions of families in Texas, and across the country, as parents have worried about how to pay bills and buy groceries, let alone Christmas gifts under their tree for their children. I know this will not erase all of the financial uncertainty, but it will go a long way to provide some help to those whose livelihoods have been thrown into chaos,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I appreciate the work of our colleagues who fought for a deal that will give our country added strength during this next critical phase of our fight, and I look forward to voting for this legislation.”

Relief for Texans During the Pandemic:

  • Provides direct financial assistance to Texans:
    • Provides individuals making up to $75,000 with a $600 check and an additional $600 for each eligible child. A family of four making up to $150,000 will receive $2,400
    • Extends the eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021 and provides $25 billion in temporary and targeted rental assistance for those who lost their source of income during the pandemic
  • Expands unemployment insurance (UI) for Texas workers:
    • Provides an extra $300 weekly federal UI benefit on top of the state maximum temporarily
  • Assists the health care industry’s response:
    • Provides $19.695 billion for the purchase, development, and production of vaccines and $8.75 billion for vaccine distribution, administration, and monitoring
    • Provides $22.4 billion to assist states with testing and containment
    • Reauthorizes the Community Health Centers program for three years and provides $1.68 billion in appropriated funds.
    • Provides $3.25 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile of PPE and other critical supplies
    • Provides $3 billion for the Provider Relief Fund
    • Provides $4.25 billion for substance abuse and mental health treatment and prevention
  • Supports Texans in rural areas:
    • Includes $300 million to build out rural broadband
    • Provides an additional $250 million for telehealth
    • Provides $11.2 billion in funding for agricultural assistance to support farmers, ranchers, logging and timber, textile mills, and producers.
    • Provides $1 billion in repurposed funding for agricultural losses due to previous natural disasters.
  • Provides for Texas education, childcare, and nutrition:
    • Provides $10 billion for childcare centers
    • Allocates $82 billion in funding to support students, teachers, schools, and families, including:
      • $54.3 billion to help elementary and secondary schools safely re-open or remain open;
      • $22.7 billion to support students and institutions of higher education;
      • And $4.1 billion as part of the Governors Fund to give states flexible funding to address students’ needs from early childhood through college
      • Continues and provides additional waivers and flexibility for School Nutrition Programs, of which two-thirds of Texas school children participate in
    • Provides $400 million in funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program and $1.5 billion for the purchase of food and commodities to help Texas food banks meet unprecedented demand
    • Includes a six-month increase in supplemental food benefits for low-income Texans

Supporting Texas Workers & Job Creators:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Provides more than $250 billion to replenish the programwhich provides loans to allow small businesses to maintain their payroll, hire back laid-off employees, and cover interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities
  • Save Our Stages Act: Provides Small Business Administration grants totaling $15 billion for entertainment venue operators affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in order to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector
  • Small Business Expense Protection Act: Clarifies the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) so small businesses can deduct expenses paid with a forgiven PPP loan from their taxes
  • Extension of the Donation Acceptance Program: Provides a one-year extension of this program promoting public-private partnerships to boost staffing and make infrastructure improvements at U.S. ports of entry without adding to the national deficit

Protecting Texas Children:

Strengthening Texas’ Energy Sector:

Preserving Texans’ History: