WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) issued the following statement after President Trump signed the latest bipartisan coronavirus relief package:
“Now that the President signed this relief package, there is finally more help on the way for the American people. This bill will support vaccine distribution, small businesses such as independent music venues, and help Americans out of work. This is an important step, but we must continue to work to pass more relief in the new year.”
The agreement advances bills led by Senator Klobuchar, including:
- Save Our Stages Act: Provides $15 billion in Small Business Administration grants to independent live venues impacted by the pandemic, like First Avenue in Minneapolis. Klobuchar led the legislation with Senator John Cornyn.
- COVID-19 Dependent Care Flexible Spending Arrangement Rollover Act: Allows families to rollover their flexible spending balances preventing families from losing funds for child care services that went unused because of the coronavirus pandemic. Klobuchar led this legislation with Senator Shelley Moore Capito.
- Requiring Assistance to Meat Processors for Upgrading Plants (RAMP-UP) Act: Provides $60 million in grant funding for meat processors to make improvements necessary to expand their markets. Based on Klobuchar’s legislation she led with Senator Jerry Moran.
- Renewable Fuel Feedstock Reimbursement Act: Provides authority to the Department of Agriculture to make relief payments to producers of advanced biofuel, biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, conventional biofuel, or renewable fuels with market losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Based on Klobuchar’s legislation she led with Senator Chuck Grassley.
- Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy (EASE) Act: Provides authorized grant funding of $90 million to assist rural communities and rural electric cooperatives overcome the barriers to renewable energy storage and grid improvements by providing access to relevant resources and expertise. This is based on legislation Klobuchar led.
- Water Resources Development Act of 2020: Provides funding for maintenance projects at Great Lakes Ports, addresses water infrastructure needs across the country, and builds on Klobuchar’s provision to close the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam by transferring ownership of the property surrounding the Lock and Dam from the Army Corps of Engineers to the City of Minneapolis for enhanced public access and recreational opportunities.
- Broadband Interagency Coordination Act: Directs the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enter into a memorandum of understanding to coordinate the distribution of federal funds for broadband deployment and ensure funds are targeted to unserved and underserved areas. Klobuchar led this legislation with Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
- Portable Fuel Container Safety Act: Klobuchar led this legislation which consumers from accidental deaths from fire by directing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to put forth a standard requiring Flame Mitigation Devices (FMD) like flame arrestors to be used to prevent fire accidents. Under current standards, flammable or combustible liquids can ignite within their containers causing more than 160,000 fires, injuring nearly 4,000 people, and killing 454 each year. Flame arrestors can help prevent these types of accidents, but previously there was no requirement for them to be used for the consumer containers found in most homes and for everyday use.
- Railroad Employee Equity and Fairness Act: Temporarily ends the sequester on the Railroad Retirement Board’s (RRB) Unemployment Insurance Account ensuring railroad employees are eligible for the same benefits as other workers. Klobuchar led this legislation with Senator Rob Portman.
- EARLY Act Reauthorization: Reauthorizes and increases funding for education and support programs that empower young and high-risk women to better understand their bodies and advocate for their health when it comes to the detection and prevention of breast cancer. Klobuchar led this legislation with Senator Mike Crapo.