Key Vote Letter on the Senate Amendment to H.R. 133, the COVID-19 Relief Package

Monday, December 21, 2020 - 4:15pm

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:

          The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the Senate Amendment to H.R. 133, and will consider including votes on this legislation in our annual “How They Voted” Congressional scorecard.  This legislation delivers for American businesses and the workers they employ by reopening and strengthening the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), simplifying loan forgiveness, and extending relief to many chambers of commerce and other important community organizations, as well as by targeting tax relief and other policies to boost economic recovery.

          We commend the House Problem Solvers Caucus and the bipartisan group of Senators that provided the critical momentum for this agreement, and for working with congressional Leadership to produce results.  We believe that this bipartisan cooperation is a model all Members of Congress should consider in the next Congress.

          We also appreciate leadership’s willingness to include a number of important priorities beyond limited pandemic response. For example, the bill includes ground-breaking provisions on energy innovation and climate change, which are also the product of many years of bipartisan work. In particular, the phase out hydrofluorocarbons is a significant step towards reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

          The Second Chance Pell Grant would allow incarcerated individuals to get the financial help they need to leave prison with post-secondary education and training that will expand workplace opportunities and help close the opportunity gap.

          Including substantial economic relief by extending expiring tax provisions, extending and expanding the employee retention tax credit, and clear direction that expenses paid from forgiven PPP loans are deductible, will help businesses plan and grow as the economy recovers.

          With vaccines developed, approved and being deployed, the end of the pandemic crisis is in sight.  However, the economic harm continues.  We will work with the incoming Administration and the new Congress on other efforts to provide relief to American businesses, particularly in the areas of timely, temporary and targeted liability protection for businesses that follow public health guidelines, and increasing support for state and local governments.

          The Chamber strongly supports the Senate Amendment to H.R. 133.  

Sincerely,

Suzanne P. Clark