FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Rep. Sewell Votes to Keep Government Open and Extend Vital Programs
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Sewell voted in support of the continuing resolution legislation H.R. 8337, which provides for the continuation of funding for the programs contained in the 12 annual appropriation acts for FY2020. The bill passed the House in a final vote of 359-57-1.
“I voted for today’s legislation to avert a catastrophic government shutdown and fund the critical programs that my constituents depend on. At a time when our country is in the middle of a pandemic and millions of Americans are losing their homes and livelihoods to natural disasters, including hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, our government needs to be fully funded and operational so that the American people can get the resources they need,” said Rep. Sewell. “I am particularly proud of the provisions Democrats secured to save our seniors from a Medicare Part B premium hike, protect health, housing, and other programs for Veterans, and to provide repayment relief for our health care providers at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“While I’m disappointed that Senate Republicans and White House didn’t come to the table to agree to pass the long-term FY2021 funding bills that the House passed earlier this year, I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure a long-term funding bill is passed before this CR expires in December. Additionally, an agreement on further Coronavirus relief legislation is desperately needed. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and as the pandemic continues, municipalities, health care providers, essential workers, and small businesses are running out of resources from the CARES Act and relief is needed now.”
A list of the programs that Congresswoman Sewell worked directly with House appropriators to secure in the FY2020 funding bill, which are extended by today’s continuing resolution, H.R. 8337, can be found here. Today’s bill includes several other funding provisions that Congresswoman Sewell fought in recent months to secure and that benefit the 7th District, including funding and extensions for the following programs, among others.
- Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program Loans
- Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) program
- Commodity Supplemental Food program
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program
- 2020 Decennial Census Program
- Community Health Centers
- Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Program
- Special Diabetes Program
- Grants for transportation to VA medical facilities for Veterans living in “highly rural” areas
- Childcare assistance for Veterans while they receive health care at a VA facility
- An initiative to assess the feasibility of paying for veterans in highly rural areas to travel to the nearest Vet Center, a community-based facility that provides readjustment counseling and other services
- The Department of Labor’s homeless veteran reintegration programs, such as job training, counseling, and placement services
Further, today’s legislation:
- Ensures USDA can fully meet the demand for Direct and Guaranteed Farm Ownership loans, especially for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers.
- Allows increased flexibility for the Small Business Administration to process certain small business loans and SBA Disaster Loans.
- Provides a one-year extension for surface transportation programs, including federal highway, transit, and road safety programs.
- Reauthorizes the Appalachian Regional Commission for one year.
- Delays a scheduled $4 billion reduction in funding for disproportionate share hospital (DSH), which are hospitals that serve large numbers of low-income and uninsured patients.
- Protects Medicare beneficiaries from the expected increase in Part B premiums for 2021 that is likely to result from the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Provides repayment relief to health care providers by extending the time in which they must repay advances and reducing the interest rate under the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment program until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Allows Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to use the full amount available in the Disaster Relief Fund to respond to declared disasters.
- Increases accountability in the Commodity Credit Corporation, preventing funds for farmers from being misused for large oil companies.
- Ensures schoolchildren receive meals despite the pandemic’s disruption of their usual schedules, whether virtual or in-person, and expands Pandemic EBT access for young children in childcare.