Tonight, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) voted in support of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, H.R. 133, bipartisan legislation that would provide emergency relief to Americans continuing to suffer from the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and a second package to fund the government through Fiscal Year 2021. The Senate will vote to pass both packages tonight, and the President is expected to sign the bill into law.

The bipartisan legislation combines over $900 billion in emergency COVID-19 relief to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people with $1.4 billion in funding for the government through the annual appropriations process.

“As a member of Congress we have a constitutional duty to fund the government while also dealing with concurrent crisis as they occur. American families are suffering right now from the COVID-19 pandemic. They are struggling to keep their lights on, put food on the tables, and navigate their way through a year of untold economic suffering, emotional hardship, and worst of all, loss of loved ones. Bills are due and it is unconscionable that Americans have had to wait months for relief, and critical federal programs that they rely on to be funded.

“While I am frustrated that compromise has seemed elusive in recent months, and that this bill took so long to craft, I am grateful for the hope this bill brings to my constituents. This bipartisan package will help us continue to invest in testing and vaccine distribution, and will bring direct relief to American families, expand assistance to millions of workers who have lost their jobs, and help community members trying to keep their businesses open. This COVID-19 relief package will invest billions into public education and our child care system, ensuring that schools are able to open safely, and ensure child care centers can continue to operate. While more still needs to be done to help this country recover, this bill represents a major step forward for all Americans and an important step on the path to recovery.

“I am pleased that part of the 2021 Appropriations package invests in key priorities for my district – from aggressively tackling the opioid crisis, investing in community health centers, disease research and mental health services, and helping students with learning disabilities. This bill will help to fight our nation’s gun violence epidemic, protect the environment and combat climate change, and tackle food insecurity. I look forward to the President signing this legislation into law, and remain committed to working with the next Administration to ensure every resource possible is available to save lives and protect the vulnerable.”

Among the provisions to combat the COVID-19 crisis in Consolidated Appropriations Act, are:

  • Accelerating vaccine distribution and crushing the coronavirus: The package provides billions in urgently need funds to accelerate the free and equitable distribution of safe vaccines to as many Americans as possible as soon as possible, to implement a strong national testing and tracing strategy with billions reserved specifically for combating the disparities facing communities of color, and to support our heroic health care workers and providers.
  • Direct payment checks: Provides a new round of direct payments worth up to $600 per adult and child, also ensuring that mixed-status families receive payments.
  • Strong support for small business: Includes critical funding and policy changes to help small businesses, including minority-owned businesses, and nonprofits recover from the pandemic. The agreement includes over $284 billion for first and second forgivable PPP loans, expanded PPP eligibility for nonprofits and local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters, key modifications to PPP to serve the smallest businesses and struggling non-profits and better assist independent restaurants, and includes $15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions. The agreement also includes $20 billion for targeted EIDL Grants which are critical to many smaller businesses on Main Street.
  • Education and child care: The agreement provides $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools, including support for HVAC repair and replacement to mitigate virus transmission and reopen classrooms, and $10 billion for child care assistance to help get parents back to work and keep child care providers open.
  • Rental assistance: Provides $25 billion in critically needed rental assistance for families struggling to stay in their homes and an extension of the eviction moratorium.
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance benefits: Averts the sudden expiration of Unemployment Insurance benefits for millions and adds a $300 per week UI enhancement for Americans out of work.


Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.

Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.