WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congress reached agreement on a plan to fund the federal government and provide nearly $1 trillion in additional funding to combat COVID-19 and boost the economy.  The agreement will bolster health care providers and accelerate vaccine distribution; send $600 direct payments to individuals; and an extra $300-a-week in federal unemployment for job seekers for at least ten weeks.  It will also provide a boost to small businesses, offering the hardest hit businesses another chance at federal aid and will provide financial relief for millions of middle-class families.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the panel’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee, played an important role in crafting key pieces of the Omnibus Appropriations bill and the COVID-19 emergency relief bill to help improve public health, strengthen the economy, create jobs, and make critical investments in America’s future.

Reed also worked with Congressional leaders on several key pieces of the agreement, including: extending time for state and local governments to effectively use Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF); enhancing unemployment insurance benefits; delivering rental assistance to those hit hardest by the pandemic, including a small state minimum of million to help renters facing eviction; and providing targeted transportation relief.

Reed also strongly supported efforts to include significant investments in childcare and education, including both K-12 and higher education, which will result in a historic expansion of Pell grants.

“As was the case with the CARES Act, it’s clear we must do more, but this bill prevents a costly shutdown and provides targeted relief at a critical time.  Infections rates are rising, hospitals are filling up, and Americans have waited long enough for Congress to do its job.  This will finally offer some much needed relief in the form of direct payments, unemployment insurance, assistance to small businesses, and a major boost for public health and combating COVID-19,” said Senator Reed.