ICYMI: Shaheen, Hassan Share Details of Two Bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Bills

December 15, 2020

**A senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Shaheen once again helped negotiate provisions to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis & also steered negotiations on nutrition assistance and support to address the substance use disorder epidemic**

(Washington, DC) – Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – a senior member of the Senate Appropriations and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committees – and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) shared additional details for the two bipartisan, bicameral COVID-19 emergency relief bills. The Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, shared by Senators Shaheen, Hassan, Manchin (D-WV), Collins (R-ME), Warner (D-VA), Cassidy (D-LA), Murkowski (D-AK), King (I-ME), Romney (R-UT), Portman (R-OH) and Durbin (D-IL), and Representatives Reed (NY-23) and Gottheimer (NJ-05), would provide as much as $748 billion in relief to American students, families, businesses, workers and health care providers during this crisis. The Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protection Act of 2020, shared by Senators Manchin, Collins, Cassidy, Murkowski, Romney and Portman would provide $160 billion in funding for state and local governments and liability protections. The bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers have been part of ongoing bipartisan talks over the past few weeks to deliver urgently needed COVID-19 emergency relief.

“300,000 Americans have been taken by COVID-19. As hospital beds fill up, small businesses close their doors and Americans struggle to put food on the table, the urgency to get financial relief to our communities cannot be overstated. The bipartisan legislation we announced yesterday – written in good-faith and across party lines – are the only relief bills that can clear Congress. Senate and House leaders must act swiftly,” said Senator Shaheen. “The impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been overwhelming and no person or industry has been spared. This legislation responds to those who have been hardest-hit, including our small businesses and child care providers, and it addresses pre-existing problems in our society that have been worsened by the pandemic, such as food insecurity and the substance use disorder epidemic. This legislation will help Americans get through the darkest months of this crisis, but our work is not over. We will need to build on this bipartisan effort in the weeks and months ahead to ensure New Hampshire families and all Americans have the assistance they need to recover.”

"Just yesterday I spoke with New Hampshire long-term care and nursing home leaders, and it's clear that additional COVID-19 relief has never been more urgent for hospitals, nursing homes, families, students, and small businesses," said Senator Hassan. “We have come together, compromised, and found bipartisan agreement on a strong emergency relief package that will help protect lives and livelihoods – and there is significant bipartisan, bicameral support for it. I urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to work in good faith with our bipartisan group to get this done.”

The Senators announced the legislation in a press conference yesterday afternoon. Shaheen’s remarks can be viewed here and Hassan’s can be viewed here.

Senator Shaheen helped lead negotiations on the small business relief programs that were established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law in March, and includes the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP has been a lifeline for businesses and nonprofits in New Hampshire, with over $2.5 billion in assistance disbursed to more than 25,000 businesses across the state. Shaheen has been intricately involved in the bipartisan talks that led to this new bipartisan, bicameral legislation, of which she once again helped lead negotiations on portions that would provide help to small businesses. Shaheen also worked with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) to write the measures to assist child care providers, and she helped steer negotiations on nutrition assistance and support to address the substance use disorder epidemic, which has been exacerbated by COVID.

Senator Hassan helped lead negotiations on unemployment insurance, resulting in a compromise measure that will extend pandemic unemployment benefits by 16 weeks and provide $300 per week in federal supplemental unemployment insurance benefits for 16 weeks. Senator Hassan also led on negotiating the proposal to provide an additional $82 billion for education K-12 schools and higher education institutions, and $10 billion to support U.S. Postal Service operations.