The $1.4 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill for FY2021 Plus a $900 Billion COVID-19 Relief Package (H.R. 133)
Do you support or oppose this bill?
What is H.R. 133?
(Updated February 3, 2022)
(Updated 12/21/20) This bill has been amended from its original form to serve as the legislative vehicle for an omnibus spending bill for and a coronavirus relief package. In its original form, the bill aimed to strengthen economic partnerships between the U.S. and Mexico. In its current form, the bill is broken into a $1.4 trillion appropriations package for FY2021, which would fund the government through the end of September 2021; a $900 billion coronavirus (COVID-19) relief measure that would provide stimulus payments, enhanced unemployment benefits, and aid for small businesses harmed by COVID-19 prevention measures; and an extension of expiring provisions. A breakdown of the various provisions in the 5,593 page bill can be found below.
Stimulus Payments: This section would provide recovery rebates that total $600 per adult and child in a household. Payments would be reduced for higher income taxpayers and begin phasing out at $75,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) for individual taxpayers & $150,000 AGI for married filers. The rebate amount would be reduced by $5 for each $100 a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold; and it would phase out entirely for single taxpayers with incomes over $99,000 & married filers with AGI exceeding $198,000. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would base these AGI amounts on the taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if it’s been filed, or on their 2018 tax return if not. Payments would only be available to recipients who have a Social Security Number and are U.S. citizens.
Unemployment Insurance: The $300 per week federal enhancement of unemployment benefits under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) supplement would be extended for 11 weeks. Additionally, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) would be extended for 11 weeks, as would the temporary financing of short-time compensation payments to workers who had their hours reduced. The maximum number of weeks of benefits an individual may claim would be increased from 39 to 50.
Within 30 days of this bill’s enactment, states would be required to have methods in place to address situations in which recipients of unemployment benefits refuse to return to work or refuse to accept an offer of suitable work without good cause, including a method for employers to notify the state when an individual refuses employment; and a plain language notice to claimants about state return to work laws, rights to refuse to return to work or to refuse suitable work and information on contesting a denial of a claim, as well as what constitutes suitable work, including the right to refuse work that poses a risk to the claimant’s health and safety.
Relief for Small & Shuttered Businesses: This bill would provide $806.5 billion to reopen the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which makes forgivable loans to small businesses that are to be used to cover payroll for workers and certain operating expenses. It would make modifications to broaden the allowable and forgivable uses of PPP loans, including software, cloud computing, and human resources and accounting; repairing property damage from 2020 civil disturbances that aren’t covered by insurance; expenditures to suppliers for contracts in effect prior to the loan; and for personal protective equipment or other investments to comply with COVID-19 guidelines during the course of the national emergency declaration.
PPP “second draw” loans of up to $2 million would be available for smaller and harder-hit businesses that employ up to 300 employees; have used or will use all of their first PPP loan; and demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts in the first, second, or third quarter of 2020 relative to the same 2019 quarter. Loans could be obtained from lenders that were approved to make initial PPP loans, and loan amounts would be up to 2.5 times average monthly payroll costs in the year prior to the loan or the calendar year (capped at $2 million).
PPP loan amounts that are forgiven would be excluded from gross income for tax purposes. Deductions would be allowed for otherwise deductible expenses paid with proceeds from a forgiven PPP loan.
An additional $20 billion would be provided for the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Advance program. EIDL grants would be available through December 31, 2021, and certain businesses could receive both EIDL and PPP aid.
Additionally, this bill would:
Prohibit the use of loan proceeds for lobbying activities.
Require the president, vice president, head of an executive department, or a member of Congress as well as their spouse that received a PPP loan to disclose this status at forgiveness or 30 days thereafter, and prohibit the covered individuals from receiving a loan in the future.
The Small Business Administration would be authorized to make up to $15 billion in grants available to eligible live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, or talent representatives who demonstrate a 25% reduction in revenues. Of the total, $2 billion would be set aside for eligible entities with 50 or fewer full-time employees.
Healthcare: The Dept. of Health and Human Services would receive $73 billion to support public health; research, development, manufacturing, procurement, and distribution of vaccines and therapeutics; diagnostic testing and contact tracing; mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services; childcare; and other activities. Of this total, funding would be allocated as follows:
$8.75 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal public health agencies for distributing, administering, monitoring, and tracking COVID-19 vaccination to ensure broad-based distribution.
$19.695 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for manufacturing and procurement of vaccines and therapeutics; plus $3.25 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
$25.4 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to support testing and contact tracing, as well as to reimburse for healthcare related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19.
Education: This section would provide $82 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund to support states, school districts, and institutions of higher education in their response to COVID-19. This would include $54.3 billion for elementary and secondary schools based on formulas to address learning loss among students and make facilities improvements to improve air quality in schools; and $22.7 billion for public, private, and non-profit institutions of higher education.
Rental Assistance & Eviction Moratorium: $25 billion would be provided to state and local governmental entities to provide to renter households with low incomes, household members at risk of homelessness or housing instability, and members who qualify for unemployment benefits or experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium would be extended through January 31, 2021.
A total of $15 billion in grants would be made available to employees of passenger air carriers, passing to workers through each air carrier, in addition to $1 billion in grants to employees of contractors. To receive funding, the recipient would have to recall involuntarily furloughed employees, provide backpay to returning employees, restore rights and protections for returning employees as if they hadn’t been furloughed, refrain from involuntary layoffs, stock buybacks, or capital distributions (like dividends) through March 31, 2021.
Over $11.1 billion would be provided to support agricultural producers, growers, and processors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Up to $2 billion in assistance would be provided through states for families and funeral expenses due to COVID through December 31, 2020.
$14 billion would be provided for operating assistance to transit agencies; $10 billion would be provided to support state departments of transportation to replace revenue losses and preventive maintenance; $2 billion for airports; and $1 billion for Amtrak.
The period in which state and local governments would be able to continue to make expenditures with CARES Act funding would be extended from December 30, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
Unobligated amounts provided in the CARES Act for direct loans by the Treasury Dept. and emergency lending by the Federal Reserve would be rescinded.
The Federal Reserve’s ability to make new loans, asset purchases, or modifications through the existing CARES Act facilities would terminate on December 31, 2020. The Fed would retain the authority it had prior to the enactment of the CARES Act to establish programs and facilities under section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act.
Defense: This section of the bill would provide $627.3 billion in base funding for the Dept. of Defense (DOD), an increase of $4.6 billion from the prior year, plus $68.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) / Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding, a decrease of $2 billion from the prior year.
It would fund an active duty end strength of 1,348,600 — an increase of 9,100 above the current year — plus a reserve component end strength of 802,000. It would provide funding necessary to support the proposed 3% military pay raise. Further, a total of $142.9 billion in funding would be provided for procurement needs.
Labor, Health & Human Services, Education: This section would provide $197 billion in programmatic funding for FY2021, an increase of $2.8 billion from FY2020, including:
$97 billion for the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), an increase of $2.1 billion over the FY2020 level.
$73.5 billion for the Dept. of Education.
$24.7 billion for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).
$12.5 billion for the Dept. of Labor.
$7.9 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
$7.5 billion for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
$6 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
This section would continue Hyde Amendment, which is the longstanding prohibition on the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the long-term health of the mother.
Military Construction & Veterans Affairs: This section would provide $113.1 billion in FY2021 funding, an increase of $8.9 billion from FY2020. It includes funding for military bases, family housing, cemeteries, and veterans healthcare facilities and operations.
Transportation, Housing & Urban Development: This section would provide $136.8 billion in budgetary resources for FY2021, including $75.4 billion in discretionary funding which is an increase of $1.1 billion over FY2020. The total would include:
$86.7 billion for the Dept. of Transportation.
$49.6 billion for the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
Commerce, Justice, Science: This section of the bill would provide $71.12 billion in discretionary FY2021 funding, including:
$33.8 billion for the Dept. of Justice.
$23.27 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
$8.9 billion for the Dept. of Commerce.
$8.5 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF).
State & Foreign Operations: This section would provide $55.5 billion in discretionary funding for FY2021, including $8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations / Global War on Terrorism funding. This is an increase of $820 million over FY2020. The total would include:
$26.5 billion for bilateral economic assistance.
$16.68 billion for the State Dept.
$9 billion for International Security Assistance.
$2 billion for multilateral assistance.
$1.71 billion for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Homeland Security: This section would provide $69.02 billion in discretionary funding for FY2021, including $49.33 billion for non-defense programs, $2.55 billion for defense-related programs, and $17.1 billion for major disaster response and recovery activities. The funding total is $1.41 billion above FY2020 levels. Funding would be provided to agencies in the following amounts:
$21.67 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
$15.28 billion for Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
$12.84 billion for the Coast Guard.
$7.97 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
$7.96 billion for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
$2.44 billion for the U.S. Secret Service.
$2 billion for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Energy & Water Development: This section would provide $49.5 billion in discretionary funding for FY2021, an increase of $1.1 billion from FY2020. That total would include $27.5 billion for defense-related activities and $21.9 billion for non-defense activities. The following agencies would be funded under this section:
$39.6 billion for the Dept. of Energy (DOE).
$7.8 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers.
$1.69 billion for the Dept. of Interior and Bureau of Reclamation.
Interior & Environment: This section would provide $36.107 billion for FY2021, an increase of $118 million over the FY2020 level. It would include:
$13.7 billion for the Dept. of the Interior, including $3.12 billion for the National Park Service (NPS).
$9.24 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
$6.2 billion for the Indian Health Service.
$3.46 billion for the Forest Service (non-fire accounts).
Financial Services & General Government: This section would provide a total of $24.42 billion in discretionary funding for FY2021, an increase of $281 million from FY2020. It would include:
$13.49 billion for the Dept. of the Treasury.
$7.72 billion for the Judiciary.
$1.79 billion for several independent agencies, such as the General Services Administration, Office of Personnel Management, and the Small Business Administration.
$758.8 million for the Executive Office of the President.
$734.5 million for the District of Columbia.
Agriculture: This section of the bill would provide $23.395 billion in FY2021 discretionary funding for U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) programs and would authorize funding for mandatory nutrition programs at estimated levels. It would provide discretionary and mandatory funding for USDA’s food and nutrition programs, including:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): $114 billion in mandatory spending would be provided for SNAP.
Child Nutrition Programs: $25.1 billion in mandatory funding would be provided.
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): $6 billion in discretionary funding would be provided.
Legislative Branch: This section would provide $5.3 billion in funding for FY2021, an increase of $251 million from FY2020. It would fund the two chambers of Congress, Capitol Police, the Architect of the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and related agencies.
This bill would require private health insurance plans to hold patients harmless from surprise medical bills. Patients would only be required to pay the in-network cost-sharing amount for out-of-network emergency care, ancillary services by out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, and for out-of-network care provided at in-network facilities without the patient’s informed consent.
Washington D.C. police officers would be prohibited from using police cars for personal errands.
The Women’s History Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino would be established within the Smithsonian Institution.
$50 million would be provided to establish the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Fund, which would foster economic partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians through people-to-people exchanges.
Authority for Customs and Border Protection to maintain the port of entry donation program would be extended for one year.
Technical corrections would be made to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
This bill would authorize intelligence activities for FY2021.
This bill would authorize water resources development programs.
Medicaid would be available to citizens of the Freely Associated States (the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau) who reside lawfully in the U.S. under the Compacts of Free Association.
Various programs related to Tibet and assistance to nongovernmental organizations supporting Tibetan communities in Tibet would be modified and reauthorized. New Chinese consulates in the U.S. would be restricted until a U.S. consulate has been established in Lhasa, Tibet.
Argument in favor
It’s not perfect, but this bipartisan bill would fund the federal government for the rest of FY2021 and provide much needed relief from the coronavirus pandemic to Americans, including stimulus checks, loans for small businesses, grants for shuttered venues, and healthcare funding that will aid the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Congress should consider the FY2021 funding bills and the coronavirus relief measures separately. Combining them into a massive 5,593 page, $2.3 trillion package that’s publicly available for less than a day prior to a vote is an irresponsible affront to transparency and good governance.
Individuals & families; small businesses; economically distressed sectors of the U.S. economy; healthcare providers & manufacturers of medical products; and the federal government.
Cost of H.R. 133
The CBO estimates that the appropriations portion of this bill would cost $1.4 trillion in FY2021. An estimate of the coronavirus relief measures is unavailable.
In-Depth: House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) offered the following statement on this bipartisan, bicameral bill to fund the government for FY2021 and provide coronavirus relief:
“As I prepare to depart the House after 32 years of service, I could not be more pleased that we are concluding this Congress with a bipartisan agreement to provide the certainty of full-year funding for all of government and urgently-needed coronavirus relief to save lives and livelihoods. Because of the leadership of Congressional Democrats, this spending agreement contains funding increases for critical priorities and strong emergency relief to crush the virus and put more money in people’s pockets. I know that Democrats will continue to build on this initial step to bring this crisis to an end, make our country safer and stronger, and give more people a better chance at a better life.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) added:
“I am pleased we have finally reached a deal. The American people expect us to do our job, and after many months of work on this legislation, I am hopeful we can swiftly advance the bipartisan package through Congress and on to the President’s desk. Funding the government, including our Armed Forces, is our fundamental responsibility. Providing relief to struggling Americans and businesses is paramount as our nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. This year has been unprecedented in a number of ways. Completing our work is all the more important. I urge my colleagues to support this package.”
Of Note: The $900 billion COVID-19 relief components of this bill are the second largest rescue package Congress has enacted. It exceeds the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and is surpassed only by the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which was enacted in March 2020.
At 5,593 pages in length, this package is potentially the longest piece of legislation ever to be considered by Congress.
Senate Appropriations Committee Republicans Press Release
House Appropriations Committee Democrats Press Release
House Appropriations COVID Relief Summary
House Appropriations Omnibus Summary
House Appropriations Reauthorizations Summary
CBO Cost Estimate (Omnibus Appropriations)
- Bill Text
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / photovs)
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