Scott Statement on Passage of Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Package and COVID-19 Relief
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Robert C. “Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, released the following statement in response to the House passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Omnibus spending package and coronavirus relief proposal.
“Today, the House passed a bold spending package and coronavirus relief bill that reflects the priorities of House Democrats: Advancing equity in education, supporting America’s workers, and expanding access to affordable health care.
“I am particularly pleased with the inclusion of provisions to drastically expand the Pell Grant program, repeal the ban on Pell eligibility among incarcerated students, and restore Pell Grant eligibility for students defrauded by their institutions. The package also streamlines the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and discharges loans made to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) under the HBCU Capital Financing Loan program, providing $1.34 billion in relief to these institutions. Additionally, the package permanently strikes the prohibition on the use of federal funds for transportation to promote school integration—a huge step toward fulfilling the promise of Brown v. Board of Education and desegregating America’s public schools.
“The package also takes long overdue action to protect patients from surprise medical bills – providing workers and families vital protections from unforeseen and exorbitant out of pocket costs.
“Finally, as the country continues to fight the spread of the coronavirus, Congress was able to secure much needed relief. To support students, educators, and parents, we secured $82 billion for schools and colleges and $10 billion for childcare assistance. To support workers, the bill provides a tax credit to employers who offer paid sick leave, increased flexibility for workforce development programs, and an extension of critical assistance for 14 million jobless workers. The bill also ensures millions of Americans can access nutrition benefits by bolstering nutrition assistance for seniors and expanding assistance for nutrition benefits for children through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.
“As a representative of the Hampton Roads community, I was pleased this package provides over $23 billion for shipbuilding to procure 10 Navy ships, including two Virginia Class Submarines. Also included is a necessary one-year extension of the deadline for the National Disaster Resiliency Competition (NDRC) funds which will allow the City of Norfolk to utilize $112 million to assist with making the city more resilient to frequent flooding. I am also happy to see robust funding to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay included, as well as a one-year extension and $3.3 million for the 400 Years of African American History Commission which will allow them to continue their important work.
“While there is still much work to be done to crush this virus and push our economy into recovery, this bill is a positive step forward in supporting students, workers, and families across the country.”
To read a fact sheet on the significant provision the Committee secured in the end-of year spending package and COVID-19 relief proposal, click here.