The following release issued by the Senate Democratic Party details what is included in the
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
The release was prepared by The Office Of Vice Chairman Leahy (D-Vt.). It was issued on Wednesday March 25.
The appropriations division of the Senate’s bipartisan coronavirus aid and economic relief agreement contains $330 billion in new funding to address the needs of the American people as we confront the coronavirus pandemic. The bill provides new resources to help strained state, local, and tribal governments as they combat this pandemic; support for hospitals and health care workers on the front lines of this public health crisis; funding to purchase personal protective equipment and much needed medical equipment; support for law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders; funding for scientists researching treatments and vaccines; support for small businesses; support for local schools and universities; and funding for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs. This funding is in addition to the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief fund that will provide state, local, and tribal government with additional resources to address this pandemic. The summary does not reflect the mandatory or authorizing provisions of the agreement.
Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said:
“I have said from the beginning that our response to this crisis will come in phases as we address the evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic. Today our response is providing direct assistance to the American people, injecting new resources where they are needed most, and moving our country a step closer to emerging from this crisis stronger than we were before.”
DIVISION B – Emergency Appropriations For Coronavirus Health Response and Agency Operations
Title I – Department of Agriculture
Includes $48.9 billion for Department of Agriculture agencies and the Food and Drug Administration to continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. These funds will provide nutrition assistance to ensure the most vulnerable citizens can still receive food when needed. The bill also includes assistance for food banks, which are under increased demand during this public health crisis. Highlights include:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – The bill includes $15.5 billion in additional funding for SNAP to ensure all Americans, including seniors and children receive the food they need.
Child Nutrition Programs – The bill includes $8.8 billion in additional funding for Child Nutrition Programs in order to ensure children receive meals while school is not in session.
Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations – The bill provides $100 million to guarantee participants of SNAP on Indian Reservations receive must needed food and will ensure the facilities have the capacity to meet increased needs.
Nutrition assistance to Puerto Rico and the territories – The bill provides $200 million for food assistance is provided to Puerto Rico and the territories to ensure these citizens receive more support during this COVID crisis.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – The bill provides $450 million for the TEFAP program. With many communities suffering from job losses, food banks have seen increased needs. These funds are critical so food banks can continue to assist those Americans most in need.
Food and Drug Administration – The bill provides $80 million for the Food and Drug Administration to continue the agencies important work of responding to COVID-19. Funding will be used to continue efforts related to shortages of critical medicines, enforcement work on counterfeit and misbranded products, emergency use authorizations and pre and post market work on medical countermeasures, therapies, vaccines, and research.
Rural Development – The bill provides $25 million to support the Distance Learning and Telemedicine program. This increase will help improve distance learning and telemedicine in rural areas of America. Additionally, $100 million is provided to the ReConnect program to help ensure rural Americans have access to broadband, the need for which is increasingly apparent as millions of Americans work from home across the country. The bill also includes $20.5 million to support$1 billion in Business and Industry loans.
Commodity Credit Corporation – The bill includes $14 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Additional Assistance to Producers – The bill includes $9.5 billion to assist specialty crop producers; producers who support local food systems such as farmers markets, schools, and restaurants; and livestock producers, including dairy.
Title II – Departments of Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Includes $3.079 billion in funding to support economic development, invest in basic science and provide resources for Federal, state and local law enforcement and prisons to respond to this public health crisis. Highlights include:
Economic Development Administration (EDA) – The bill provides $1.5 billion for economic adjustment assistance to help revitalize local communities after the pandemic. EDA assistance can be used to help rebuild impacted industries such as tourism or manufacturing supply chains, capitalize local funds to provide low-interest loans to businesses of all sizes, and support other locally-identified priorities for economic recovery. Based on the impact of prior funding packages, EDA disaster assistance will leverage an additional $20 billion in local and private investment and support more than 100,000 American jobs.
Support for Manufacturing – $50 million is provided for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers recover by finding value within the supply chain and expanding markets. For every one dollar of federal investment, MEP generates $27.20 in new sales growth for manufacturers. The bill also includes an additional $10 million for the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals to support the development and manufacture of new medical countermeasures and biomedical supplies to combat the coronavirus.
Assistance for Fishermen – The bill provides $300 million to help fishermen around the country struggling due to disappearing economic markets caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Tribal, subsistence, commercial, and charter fishermen, as well as aquaculture farmers, are all eligible for the disaster assistance.
Resources for Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement – The bill includes $850 million for the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne-JAG). Byrne-JAG is the most flexible federal law enforcement grant program and will allow state and local police departments and jails to meet local needs, including purchase of personal protective equipment and other needed medical items and to support overtime for officers on the front lines. Language is included to ensure these resources go out to states and localities quickly in order to immediately respond to this crisis while avoiding unnecessary Trump Administration-imposed roadblocks intended to punish so-called sanctuary cities.
The bill also includes $100 million for the Federal Bureau of Prisons to respond to the coronavirus pandemic with resources that can be used to meet urgent needs such as purchase of personal protective equipment and other medical equipment, funding overtime, and cleaning facilities. The bill also includes a total of $55 million for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Attorneys to respond to the coronavirus crisis and for information technology improvements and security needed for telework at the Department of Justice.
Basic Science Related to Coronavirus – The bill includes $6 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to provide continuity of operations and to conduct research and measurement science to support testing and treatment of coronavirus and $75 million for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support research at molecular, cellular, physiological and ecological levels to better understand coronavirus genetics, modes of action, transmission, virulence and population dynamics. NSF supports research activities at more than 2,000 research institutions across the United States and is ready to mobilize the full force of the academic community including through Rapid Response Research (RAPID) proposals.
Support for Legal Services – $50 million is provided for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to meet civil legal aid needs for low-income Americans. This funding can help LSC clients facing job losses, eviction, domestic violence and consumer scams resulting from the coronavirus crisis.
Title III – Department of Defense
Includes $10.5 billion for the Department of Defense, primarily for the protection of members of the Armed Forces, their families, and military retirees from coronavirus. The bill also includes funding for specific efforts which leverage unique capabilities of the Department of Defense to contribute to a whole-of-government response to the pandemic. Highlights include:
$1.4 billion for deployments of the National Guard – This level of funding will sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard, under the direction of the governors of each state, for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts.
$1 billion for the Defense Production Act – This funding allows the Department of Defense to invest in manufacturing capabilities that are key to increasing the production rate of personal protective equipment and medical equipment to meet the demand of healthcare workers all across the nation.
$415 million for research and development – Military medical research programs have developed promising vaccines and anti-viral pharmaceuticals, which require additional investment for testing.
$1.5 billion for expansion of military hospitals and expeditionary hospital packages – To alleviate the anticipated strain on both the military and civilian healthcare systems, these funds will nearly triple the 4,300 beds available in military treatment facilities today.
Transfer Limitation – Includes a general provision to prevent funds in this title from being diverted to build a wall on the southern border.
Title IV – Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies
Includes $221 million for agencies to respond to coronavirus impacts on operations, including equipment and IT support to improve teleworking capabilities vital to continued operations, as well as supporting research into the coronavirus by the Department of Energy. Highlights include:
Army Corps of Engineers – $70 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus by providing additional equipment, licenses, and IT support to improve teleworking capabilities and ensure secure remote access for Corps staff. Funding will also improve capacity for remote operations of USACE projects and activation of Emergency Operations Centers nationwide to support continued operations of USACE projects.
Bureau of Reclamation – $20.6 million to the Bureau of Reclamation to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus by providing additional equipment, licenses, and IT support to improve teleworking capabilities and secure remote access.
Department of Energy – $28 million to the Department of Energy to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission – $3.3 million to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus.
Department of Energy’s Office of Science – $99.5 million is provided to the Department of Energy’s Office of Science for costs related to equipment, personnel, and operations to support research on the coronavirus.
Title V – Financial Services And General Government
Includes $1.82 billion for Financial Services and General Government agencies to provide resources to support small businesses, protect our elections, provide the IRS with funds to carry out their new responsibilities, and provide oversight of federal spending during this global crisis. Highlights include:
Small Business Administration (SBA) – The bill provides $562 million to ensure that SBA has the resources to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to businesses that need financial support during this difficult time. These loans will help businesses keep their doors open and pay their employees. SBA has signed emergency declarations for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, so the EIDL program will be available to assist small businesses across the country that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
This funding is in addition to the significant assistance provided in the Keeping American Workers Employed and Paid Act, which authorizes $350 billion worth of 100 percent guaranteed SBA loans, a portion of which SBA will forgive based on allowable expenses for the borrower. This small business package also includes $10 billion in direct grants for businesses that do not qualify for the EIDL program, and $17 billion to have SBA step in and make six months of principle and interest payments for all SBA backed business loans. All these measures combined will relieve financial stress from struggling businesses and inject much needed capital into the economy.
Election Grants – The bill provides $400 million for states to help prepare for the 2020 elections. Coronavirus is already resulting in the postponement of some primaries and this funding can help states make voting safer for individuals. Funding can be used, for example, to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting and online registration, and increase the safety of voting in-person by providing additional voting facilities and more poll-workers.
Accountability – The bill provides $80 million to support a new Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to provide transparency to the public and coordinate oversight of funds provided in this legislation.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – The bill provides $200 million for the FCC Connected Care Pilot Program. This program will support efforts of health care providers to address COVID-19 by using telehealth to connect with patients.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – The bill provides $250 million in additional funding to the IRS to administer the new tax credits for paid leave. This funding will also address IRS costs associated with delaying the filing season and expanded telework.
Judiciary – The bill provides $7.5 million for three accounts in the Judicial Branch. For the Supreme Court, it provides $500,000 to continue mission critical activities. For the Courts of Appeals, District Courts, and other Judicial Services, the bill provides $6 million for funding for increased treatment and drug testing costs, and provides funding to expand capacity for staff to continue mission critical activities at appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts, and in probation and pretrial services offices. For Defender Services, it provides $1 million to continue representing clients without disruption.
Title VI – Department Of Homeland Security
Includes a total of $45.873 billion in funding with a focus on helping people, communities, and frontline personnel prepare for and recover from COVID-19. Highlights include:
Disaster Relief Fund– $45 billion to provide for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to protect citizens and help them recovery from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19. Reimbursable activities may include medical response, personal protective equipment, National Guard deployment, coordination of logistics, safety measures, and community services nationwide.
Emergency Food and Shelter Program – $200 million for shelter, food and supportive services to individuals and families in sudden economic crisis.
Assistance to Firefighter Grants – $100 million for personal protective equipment for our nation’s first responders.
Emergency Management Performance Grants – $100 million for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to support coordination, communications, and logistics.
Personal Protective Equipment – $178 million for the Department of Homeland Security to ensure front line federal employees have personal protective equipment.
Transportation Security Administration – $100 million for enhanced sanitation at airport security checkpoints, overtime and travel costs, and the purchase of explosives trace detection swabs.
Coast Guard – $141 million to activate Coast Guard Reserve personnel and for building capacity and capability for information technology systems and infrastructure to support telework and remote access.
Federal Emergency Management Agency – $45 million to expand information technology and communications capabilities and to build capacity in response coordination efforts.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency – $9 million for supply chain and information analysis and for impacted critical infrastructure coordination.
Extends REAL ID Deadline for States – Extends the deadline for states to meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act to not earlier than September 30, 2021.
Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards – Extends the program through July 23, 2020.
FEMA Personnel Pay – Allows FEMA to continue paying personnel who reach normal overtime and premium pay caps while working on the coronavirus response.
Transfer Limitation – A general provision is included limiting the use of funds provided in this title from being used for any other purposes.
Title VII – Department Of The Interior
Includes $2 billion in funding to provide necessary resources to assist Native communities and tribal governments in preparing for and responding to the threat of coronavirus; increase funding for health care services, equipment and staffing at tribal health care facilities; support tribal schools, colleges and universities; enhance response capacity for U.S. territories and Freely Associated States; provide response resources for Federal land management agencies; and assist the nation’s arts and cultural institutions in weathering this public health crisis. Highlights include:
Indian Health Service (IHS) – Provides $1.032 billion in critically needed resources to support the tribal health system during the pandemic, including expanded support for medical services, equipment, supplies and public health education for IHS direct service, tribally operated and urban Indian health care facilities; expanded funding for purchased/referred care; and new investments for telehealth services, electronic health records improvement, and expanded disease surveillance by tribal epidemiology centers.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) – Includes $453 million to provide aid to tribal governments; support welfare assistance and social service programs, including assistance to tribal members affected by the coronavirus crisis; expand public safety and emergency response capabilities; increase BIA capacity for teleworking so the agency is better prepared to assist tribes; and meet increased staffing and overtime costs.
Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) – Provides $69 million for response needs at BIE-funded schools, including staffing, transportation, telework, and cleaning activities and assistance for tribal colleges and universities across the country to help respond to the crisis.
Department of the Interior, Office of the Secretary – Provides $158.4 million in centralized, flexible resources to allow the Secretary of the Interior to allocate resources to address coronavirus response needs for national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands and other bureaus. Includes funding for equipment and supplies for cleaning buildings and public areas; support for law enforcement and emergency personnel deployed to critical areas; support for scientific needs; increased telework capacity; and other prevention, mitigation, or recovery activities associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
Office of Insular Affairs – Includes $55 million to assist U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States with needs related to prevention and mitigation of the coronavirus outbreak, including medical supplies and equipment, healthcare services, and facilities.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Provides $7.2 million to support research efforts regarding coronavirus; staffing and associated costs for expediting registrations and other actions related to addressing coronavirus; cleaning and disinfecting of EPA’s facilities; and enhancing EPA’s telework infrastructure.
Forest Service – Includes a total of $70 million across Forest Service programs for prevention, mitigation, or recovery activities associated with the coronavirus outbreak, including funding for equipment and supplies for cleaning buildings and public areas; support for law enforcement and emergency personnel deployed to critical areas; support for scientific needs; and increased telework capacity.
Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry – Includes a total of $12.5 million for critical research and disease surveillance activities associated with coronavirus.
Smithsonian Institution – Provides $7.5 million to help the Institution respond to the coronavirus outbreak, including funds to clean and disinfect museums and facilities and to expand medical staff and animal care.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – Includes $25 million to provide operating support to the national cultural center and Presidential memorial during the coronavirus crisis. Funding ensures that the Center, which employed more than 3,000 people last year, will be able to reopen its doors to the public once the crisis is over. The Center is currently closed until May.
National Endowment for the Art and Humanities – Provides $150 million to state arts and humanities agencies to provide grants and support arts organizations, museums, libraries, and other organizations during the coronavirus crisis. The bill includes $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $75 million for the National Endowment of the Humanities.
Title VIII – Departments OF Labor, Health and Human Services, Education And Related Agencies
Includes $172.1 billion to ensure that people on the front lines of the pandemic have the resources to prepare for, prevent and respond to the crisis, including funding that builds off of the initial Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act by making additional investments in healthcare, vaccine development, support for state and local governments’ prevention and response efforts, and the purchase of critical medical supplies. It also includes a substantial investment in education, child care and other social services programs to support schools and communities during the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic. Highlights include:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – $4.3 billion to support federal, state, and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus, including:
- $1.5 billion to support States, locals, territories, and tribes in their efforts to conduct public health activities, including:
o Purchase of personal protective equipment;
o surveillance for coronavirus;
o laboratory testing to detect positive cases;
o contact tracing to identify additional cases;
o infection control and mitigation at the local level to prevent the spread of the virus; and
o other public health preparedness and response activities.
- $1.5 billion in flexible funding to support CDC’s continuing efforts to contain and combat the virus, including repatriation and quarantine efforts, purchase and distribution of diagnostic test kits (including for state and local public health agencies) and support for laboratory testing, workforce training programs, combating antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic resistant bacteria as a result of secondary infections related to COVID-19, and communicating with and informing public, state, local, and tribal governments and healthcare institutions.
- $500 million for global disease detection and emergency response;
- $500 million for public health data surveillance and analytics infrastructure modernization; and
- $300 million for the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which supports immediate response activities during outbreaks.
National Institutes of Health – The bill includes $945 million to support research to expand on prior research plans, including developing an improved understanding of the prevalence of COVID-19, its transmission and the natural history of infection, and novel approaches to diagnosing the disease and past infection, and developing countermeasures for the prevention and treatment of its various stages.
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response – $127 billion for medical response efforts, including:
- $100 billion for a new program to provide grants to hospitals, public entities, not-for-profit entities, and Medicare and Medicaid enrolled suppliers and institutional providers to cover unreimbursed health care related expenses or lost revenues attributable to the public health emergency resulting from the coronavirus.
- More than $27 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to prevent or treat the effects of coronavirus, including:
- $16 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile for critical medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and life-saving medicine;
- At least $3.5 billion to advance construction, manufacturing, and purchase of vaccines and therapeutics to the American people. This is in addition to the major investments provided for these activities in the first supplemental.
- At least $250 million for the Hospital Preparedness Program, including the National Ebola and Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), regional, State and local special pathogens treatment centers, and hospital preparedness cooperative agreements;
- Funding for innovations in manufacturing platforms to support a U.S.-sourced supply chain of vaccines, therapeutics, and small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients;
- Funding to support U.S.-based next generation manufacturing facilities;
- Increased medical surge capacity at additional health facilities;
- Enhancements to the U.S. Commissioned Corps;
- Funding to support research related to antibiotic resistant secondary infections associated with coronavirus; and
- Workforce modernization and increased telehealth access and infrastructure to increase access to digital healthcare delivery.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) – The bill includes $275 million for HRSA, including $90 million for Ryan White HIV/AIDS programs and $185 to support rural critical access hospitals, rural tribal health and telehealth programs, and poison control centers.
Administration for Community Living (ACL) – The bill includes $955 million for ACL to support nutrition programs, home and community based services, support for family caregivers, and expand oversight and protections for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) – The bill includes $200 million for CMS to assist nursing homes with infection control and support states’ efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes.
Department of Education – The bill includes $30.750 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for states, school districts and institutions of higher education for costs related to coronavirus. With most elementary and secondary schools closed across the nation, states and school districts are facing increased costs as they deal with the safety and health issues related to coronavirus. At the same time, they must continue to help address the basic needs of students and develop plans for providing online learning for all students, including students with disabilities, English language learners and homeless students. In addition, college students facing closed campuses and the transition to distance education are dealing with increased costs and challenges meeting basic needs like housing and food. These flexible funds will be available to help address these needs. They include:
- For elementary and secondary education, $13.5 billion is available for formula-grants to States, which will then distribute 90 percent of funds to local educational agencies to use for coronavirus-response activities, such as planning for and coordinating during long-term school closures; purchasing educational technology to support online learning for all students served by the local educational agency; and additional activities authorized by federal elementary and secondary education laws.
- Governors in each state will receive a share of $3 billion to allocate at their discretion for emergency support grants to local educational agencies that the State educational agency deems have been most significantly impacted by coronavirus. These funds will support the ability of such local educational agencies to continue to provide educational services to their students and to support the on-going operations of the local educational agency; and provide emergency support through grants to institutions of higher education serving students within the State.
- $14.250 billion will be available for higher education emergency relieffor institutions of higher education to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Funds may be used to defray expenses for institutions of higher education, such as lost revenue, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, and grants to students for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
Department of Labor – The bill includes $360 million for the Department of Labor to invest in programs that provide training and supportive services for dislocated workers, seniors, migrant farmworkers, and homeless veterans. This also includes funding for DOL agencies to ensure new Paid Leave and UI benefits are implemented swiftly and effectively.
Child Care Development Block Grant – The bill supports child care and early education programs by including $3.5 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant. This funding will allow child care programs to maintain critical operations, including meeting emergency staffing needs and ensuring first responders and health care workers can access child care while they respond to the pandemic.
Head Start – The bill includes $750 million for Head Start to meet emergency staffing needs.
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) – The bill includes $1 billion for CSBG to help communities address the consequences of increasing unemployment and economic disruption.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – The bill includes $900 million to help lower income households heat and cool their homes.
Family Violence Prevention Services – The bill provides $45 million to support families during this uncertain time, and to prevent and respond to family and domestic violence, including offering shelter and supportive services to those who need it.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – The bill provides $425 million for SAMHSA to increase access to mental health services in our communities through Community Behavioral Health Clinics, suicide prevention programs, and emergency response spending that can target support where it is most needed, such as outreach to those experiencing homelessness.
Social Security Administration – The bill includes $300 million to support essential telework, communication needs, and salaries and benefits of Federal employees impacted by office closures. This funding also provides the resources necessary for processing disability and retirement workloads and backlogs when SSA offices reopen to the public.
Institute for Museum and Library Services – The bill includes $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services to expand digital network access in areas of the country where such access is lacking, including the purchase of internet-enable devices and provisions for technical support services in response to the disruption of schooling and other community services during the COVID-19 emergency.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting – The bill includes $75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to make fiscal stabilization grants to public television and radio stations facing declines in non-Federal revenues. These funds will help maintain programming and preserve small and rural stations threatened by declines in non-Federal revenues.
Title IX – Legislative Branch
Includes $93.1 million in critical funding to support the health, safety, and work capabilities of Legislative Branch agencies, including the United States Congress, Architect of the Capitol (AOC), Capitol Police, Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Office of the Attending Physician (OAP), during this public health crisis. Highlights include:
Senate – The bill provides $10 million to support the Senate Sergeant at Arms to cover technology costs associated with teleworking and to support Senate offices and Committees, and for the Senate to cover costs associated with emergency needs related to coronavirus. Funding is also provided for reimbursement costs for the staff of the Senate Employees Child Care Center.
House of Representatives – The bill provides $25 million to support the House’s capability to telework, including for purchase of equipment and improvements to the network. Funding is also provided for the reimbursement costs for the staff of the House Child Care Center and covers costs for the House restaurant contracts.
Architect of the Capitol (AOC) – The bill provides $25 million and gives the AOC authority to purchase in bulk and distribute cleaning supplies and provide access to its technical cleaning contracts across the Capitol campus. It also allows the AOC to continue service contract payments, such as for the contract costs for salaries of Senate and Capitol Visitor Center Restaurant Associates employees, should they be furloughed or face a reduction in contract hours due to facility closures.
U.S. Capitol Police – The bill provides $12 million to maintain staffing levels to protect the Capitol complex. It also provides funding to cover expenses related to increased teleworking and contract support for a reduced on-site workforce.
Government Accountability Office – The bill provides $20 million for GAO to conduct oversight of funding provided to federal departments and agencies for coronavirus response and recovery efforts. Funding is also provided for the reimbursement costs for the staff of GAO’s child care center.
Library of Congress – The bill provides $700,000 for the reimbursement costs for the staff of the Library of Congress’ child care center.
Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) – The bill provides $400,000 for OAP to purchase medical supplies and protective equipment.
Title X – Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies
Includes $19.57 billion in funding to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has the equipment, tests, and support services necessary to provide veterans with the additional care they need at facilities nationwide. Highlights include:
Direct Medical Care – The bill provides $15.85 billion in order to support an increase in demand for VA services specific to coronavirus. This covers treatment of veterans nationwide for coronavirus within VA hospitals as well as in community urgent care clinics and emergency rooms. These funds allow VA to cover overtime for their clinical staff, the purchase of personal protective equipment, test kits, and other necessary equipment to manage the impacts of this pandemic among the veteran population.
Vulnerable Veterans – The bill provides $590 million for VA to devote to supporting veterans at an increased risk of contracting coronavirus. It includes funding for the Health Care for Homeless Veterans program, the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program, and the Grant and Per Diem program. This funding will help veterans get treatment, and provide support for those who are homeless or at risk of eviction. Funding is also included for keeping veterans within VA-run nursing homes and community living centers safe from coronavirus.
Facilities and IT Support for Telemedicine – The bill provides $3.1 billion for VA to purchase, staff, and equip temporary sites of care and mobile treatment centers to deal with this pandemic. It allows for remodeling to VA facilities and state run veterans homes to address the needs of veterans being treated for coronavirus. The bill includes funding for VA to expand the capacity on existing IT networks to address the demand in services, and broadens VA’s tele-ICU and teleradiology capabilities. It further enhances the capability for telehealth visits, allowing more veterans to receive care from home, and for providers at home to continue to treat patients through technology. Additionally, it facilitates VA employees working from home to ensure benefits can still be processed.
Armed Forces Retirement Homes (AFRH) – The bill includes $2.8 million to provide staff treating veterans living at the AFRH with the personal protective equipment they need. The funding provides this and other necessary equipment and staffing support, which will help minimize the spread of coronavirus among residents.
Expanded Authorities – To strengthen VA’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and enable them to best treat veterans across the country, the bill includes provisions which allow VA to:
- Pay providers for every hour they work in support of this pandemic, even if it means they go over salary caps;
- Consider veterans and their families eligible for pensions and other income-dependent benefits, even if an emergency benefit paid by the government would have put them over the threshold;
- Ensure that home health care workers have personal protective equipment and necessary equipment to protect veterans and themselves;
- Continue providing payment to State Veterans Homes when residents are transferred to acute care due to COVID-19, regardless of their occupancy rate; and allow VA to provide any available personal protective equipment to state homes;
- Provide flexibility for the Veteran Directed Care program, including telephone enrollment and renewals, and waivers for late paperwork and other limitations;
- Enhance health and housing initiatives for homeless veterans, including increased use of telehealth for programs with VA case managers, temporarily eliminating funding limits for programs providing direct support services to homeless veterans, and providing flexibility to veterans in these programs;
- Support veterans with limb loss seeking prosthetic assistance at community providers rather than going to VA facilities during a pandemic; and
- Enter into agreements with telecommunications companies to provide broadband for veterans in support of providing telemental health care.
Title XI – Department Of State
Includes $1.115 billion for the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Peace Corps, to support the repatriation of U.S. Government personnel and American citizens stranded overseas, strengthen the response at U.S. diplomatic facilities domestically and abroad, including by providing additional medical and personal protective equipment, and to prevent and respond to growing international humanitarian needs, among other purposes. In addition, the bill provides authorities for ongoing operations of the Department of State, USAID, and other agencies, including for U.S. participation in the replenishments of the international financial institutions to shore up the fragile economies of countries impacted by the coronavirus. Highlights include:
Department of State – $674 million for the Department of State, including:
- Diplomatic Programs: The bill provides $324 million for Diplomatic Programs to support the voluntary departure and curtailment on a global basis of vulnerable Department of State employees, evacuate American citizens overseas, ensure the ongoing operation of other consular and American citizen services amidst significant declines in visa revenue, and bolster the Bureau of Medical Services to respond to the coronavirus at diplomatic facilities domestically and abroad.
- Migration and Refugee Assistance: The bill provides $350 million for the Department of State to contribute to pending appeals from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, International Committee of the Red Cross, and other partners to prepare for, and respond to, coronavirus among vulnerable refugee populations abroad.
United States Agency for International Development – The bill provides $353 million for USAID, including:
Operating Expenses: The bill provides $95 million for operational needs of USAID, including support for evacuations and ordered departures of overseas staff, surge support, increased technical support for remote functions, and other needs.