Press Releases

Luetkemeyer on COVID Relief and Government Funding Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) released the following statement regarding the COVID-19 relief and end of the year funding legislation.

“We have faced a year of adversity like most of us have never experienced, but we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The COVID-19 bill will provide crucial support for small business and includes resources for the dissemination of vaccines that prioritize our health care workers and most vulnerable. Our economy will soon be able to fully and safely reopen allowing Americans to return to work, students to return to their classrooms nationwide and businesses to once again be able to pay their employees a full paycheck.

“The appropriations portion of this package delivers on several Missouri-specific priorities that I fought to be included to benefit the Third District and our state. While this bill – like most government funding packages – is far from perfect, it delivers major wins for both Missouri and the nation.

“Small businesses nationwide have endured more than their fair share of loss in 2020. Fortunately, more help is finally on the way. The bill provides more than $280 billion to restart and strengthen the Paycheck Protection Program to give struggling small businesses the relief they so desperately need. In order to make the loan forgiveness process less burdensome and less expensive, a streamlined process for all PPP loans up to $150,000 will be implemented this time around. The program will also be specifically targeted to the industries and businesses that have been most affected by the economic decline and has added protections to ensure those who do not need the support do not get it. Lastly, it prevents small businesses that have received PPP funds from being taxed for accepting help.”

Missouri and National Priorities Include: 

  • Nearly $20 billion in health care funding for vaccine production, and $8.75 billion for distribution to give all Americans who want to receive the vaccine the ability to do so for little or no money. 
  • Broadband deployment program to provide increased broadband infrastructure in rural and underserved communities in Missouri and across the country. 
  • Assistance for farmers and ranchers whose operations have been impacted by the pandemic and increased funding for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). 
  • Increased telehealth funding to ensure all Missourians have access to health care no matter their zip code. 
  • Reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act which provides for the maintenance of and new projects on our waterways like the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. 
  • Includes a provision similar to my bill, the Vested Employee Pension Benefit Protection Act which fixes current law to ensure certain construction and building trade workers in our area have access to their earned retirement benefits.  
  • Support for the “Education Stabilization Fund” which provides emergency funding for our nation’s schools and universities. 
  • Support for the motorcoach and school bus industry which supports countless jobs in the Third District and has been disproportionately hurt by the pandemic. 
  • Relief for entertainment venues and movie theaters who have been unable to operate or employ workers for months.