Rep. Price Statement on COVID-19 Relief Package and Omnibus Agreement

December 21, 2020
Press Release

 Chapel Hill, NC (December 21, 2020) -- Congressman David Price (NC-04) released a statement on the bipartisan agreement on a pared down COVID-19 relief package, as well as the omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government for the remainder of the 2021 fiscal year:    


“With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise at an alarming rate, this bipartisan COVID-19 relief agreement is desperately needed and long overdue,” said Congressman Price. “It should not have come to this – for over seven months, Senate Majority Leader McConnell has needlessly blocked progress on emergency relief even as Democrats put forward several serious proposals to assist the American people during this pandemic.”  


“Despite my strong preference for a more robust package, I will vote for this agreement because the needs are simply too urgent and too immense to do nothing or to wait any longer. The COVID-19 relief package does provide some assistance through direct stimulus checks, expanded short-term unemployment benefits, aid for small businesses, rental assistance, and support for vaccine distribution.  But let me be clear: we are many months from returning to ‘normal’ and this legislation does not go far enough to help working families, struggling small businesses, or our frontline workers.  It also provides no direct financial support for state and local governments, reduces the length and amount of unemployment benefits compared to the CARES Act, and shortchanges other critical priorities such as nutrition and rental assistance. Rather than rising to the occasion, Republicans chose an arbitrary number and insisted on working backwards to please hardliners in their caucus who supported a massive tax cut for the wealthy just three years ago, but now refuse to pass the broad relief that our nation so desperately needs.  The result, while better than nothing, is a half-measure that will require Congress to pass additional relief in the new year.”  


“The COVID package is accompanied by an omnibus appropriations package to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.  As Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, I was pleased to help secure agreement to reject the draconian Trump cuts to programs that our communities rely upon.  Instead, there will be new resources to produce more affordable housing, prevent homelessness, and advance multimodal transportation projects in North Carolina and across the country, with an emphasis on improving safety, bolstering our resiliency in the face of a changing climate, and advancing equity for all communities.  I will keep working with my colleagues to ensure our nation can fully recover from the pandemic while pressing for forward-looking federal investments that lay the foundation for long-term progress and prosperity.”