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Rep. Williams Votes in Favor of Bipartisan-Bicameral COVID-19 Relief and Omnibus Package

Dec 21, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX-25) today released the following statement after voting in favor of the bipartisan-bicameral COVID-19 relief and omnibus package.

This bipartisan legislation will ultimately have an immediate impact in the  fight against and the recovery from COVID-19. Constituents from TX-25 scored several victories this evening and I am pleased to highlight many of those accomplishments.

“Live music venues were among the first to close and will be the last to reopen. To ensure these cultural staples will continue in our communities for generations to come, I am proud the Save Our Stages Act is included in the bill to deliver much needed grants for independent live music venues nationwide.  Also included is a second round of  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, which already saved over 58,000 TX-25 jobs and 6,000 businesses. House Republicans have called upon Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer to renew the PPP since August and I’m pleased that we will be delivering more funding for Main Street while allowing business owners to fully deduct these expenses from their taxes.

"Our distillers and craft beverage producers are also critical to the Central Texas economy and faced a devastating 400% tax increase at the end of this year. After months of urging Democratic leadership to help these business owners, we have permanently delayed the  federal excise tax (FET) increase. I have also led efforts fighting for greater funding for rural broadband to ensure all corners of our TX-25 counties have access to reliable, high-quality internet and I am pleased to see $732 million in crucial funding allocated for rural areas nationwide. I will continue working to deliver targeted, tangible relief as Texans move forward together in the fight against COVID-19.”

Background:

Congressman Williams introduced the Save Our Stages Act in July to provide grants from the Small Business Administration to independent live music venues impacted by government mandates and safety restrictions. Williams has signed a discharge petition forcing Democratic leadership to consider repurposing the remaining Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds and has been a vocal advocate for PPP loan deductibility. In June, Williams sent a letter to House Leadership urging a vote on the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which would provide relief from the 400% tax increase for distillers and craft beverage producers.

Provisions in the COVID-19 relief package include:

  • $15 billion for the Save Our Stages Act

  • $7 billion for broadband expansion, with $732 million for rural broadband

  • $600 stimulus payments for the American people

  • $48 billion for the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide

  • $13 billion to support the agriculture sector

  • Extends the Paycheck Protection Program and adds deductibility for PPP expenses

Provisions in the omnibus include:

  • Provides a 3% pay raise for the troops

  • $1.375 billion in new funding for the wall and border security technology

  • Rejects efforts to defund the police

  • Maintains the Hyde Amendment and prohibits the creation or destruction of embryos for research purposes

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Congressman Roger Williams represents the 25th Congressional District of Texas and serves as a member of the House Committee on Financial Services.