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Shaheen Statement on Senate COVID Relief Package

**Shaheen successfully includes portions of her legislation to lower costs and expand access to health care for more Americans & increases federal funding for vaccine efforts after NH received less federal support than originally estimated.**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to new COVID-19 relief legislation released by Senate leadership today:

“From our child care centers and health care providers to mayors and small business owners and everyone in between, I have heard the same message from Granite Staters for months: we need help and we need it now,” said Shaheen. “The COVID-19 relief package released today is a comprehensive bill that seeks to assist those most impacted by helping families and communities survive this crisis and getting our economy moving again. There are a number of key provisions I fought to secure through negotiations in the Senate and with the White House. Some of these priorities include a boost in aid for the Provider Relief Fund to support our hospitals and health care workers on the frontlines, expanding eligible uses of the Coronavirus Relief Fund to better assist our state and local governments that are facing extreme budgetary shortfalls, help for our tourism industry which has been impacted by the pandemic and additional investments in education programs so our kids don’t fall behind. I also worked to increase funding for smaller states like New Hampshire to assist with vaccine distribution after they were short-changed by a flawed funding formula, and added portions of my health care bill to enhance premium tax credits to make access to health care more affordable. This bill isn’t perfect but that’s how compromise works and Congress needs to get relief out the door now. I have listened to our community members working to combat homelessness and food insecurity, and those stretching resources to help domestic violence and child abuse survivors and they are running out of funds and time. Granite Staters can’t hold out any longer and they shouldn’t have to – we can and must get this done.”

Senator Shaheen helped lead negotiations on measures related to education, funding for hospitals, assistance for veterans and assistance for state and local governments during negotiations with the Senate and calls with the White House. She successfully added premium tax credit enhancement provisions from her legislation that she recently introduced – the Improving Health Insurance Affordability Act. Senator Shaheen also worked to boost vaccine funding for smaller states after a flawed formula led New Hampshire to receive less federal funding than originally estimated. Shaheen led a push in Congress to address this discrepancy last month. In February, Senator Shaheen successfully added an amendment to the budget resolution – which cleared the Senate unanimously – that supports organizations serving survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. In the bill released today, Shaheen secured funding to support these efforts.

Senator Shaheen is a member of the bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers that has steered negotiations of COVID-19 relief. The recent COVID-19 relief bill signed into law in December contained Shaheen-negotiated legislation that provided urgently needed assistance to American students, families, businesses, workers and health care providers impacted by the public health and economic crises. Senator Shaheen had a similar leadership role as a negotiator for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law last March and secured New Hampshire an initial $1.25 billion to assist with COVID-19 response efforts. Shaheen helped lead negotiations of the CARES provisions to assist small businesses and established the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Both of these programs have been lifelines for businesses throughout New Hampshire and the country.