Last night, Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) voted in favor of H.R. 133 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The spending bill would fund the government through September 2021 and has garnered bipartisan support in the House of Representatives and Senate. It is expected to be signed into law by President Trump.
“The American people have remained strong throughout this challenging year, finding new ways to adhere to their everyday responsibilities. They deserve the same from their Congress. For that reason, I’m proud that we have come together in a bipartisan effort to fund the government and address many of the issues facing the American public,” Guest said. “By passing this legislation, we are standing with those who have been impacted by the many challenges of the last year including our law enforcement community, our military families, and millions of individuals impacted by the coronavirus.”
The spending agreement would provide a three percent pay raise to members of the military, nearly $1.4 billion for President Trump’s border wall, and additional support for border patrol and border technologies, while ensuring President Trump has the flexibility he needs to secure our border. The legislation would maintain all existing pro-life protections and protect President Trump’s significant efforts to uphold the sanctity of life in America and abroad.
Many of Congressman Guest’s appropriations priorities in support of agriculture, defense, healthcare, education, law enforcement, energy, financial services, and other issues of importance to Mississippi were included in this final agreement. Notably, Congressman Guest’s amendments to the House appropriations bills were sustained in this legislation, including efforts to protect our KC-135 primary mission aircraft for the 186th Air Refueling Wing at Key Field in Meridian and to provide additional funding for the Bank Enterprise Award program within the Department of Treasury. Also included in the legislation is a COVID-19 relief package that is the result of months of negotiations between Congress and the White House. Speaker Pelosi blocked earlier versions of this relief in an attempt to attach progressive provisions to the relief package that many conservatives opposed. After months of blocking commonsense COVID relief, the progressive provisions are noticeably absent. The lean version passed is similar to the $900 billion package introduced by Republican Senators earlier this year that has a net cost of approximately $325 billion after rescinding $429 billion in Federal Reserve 13(3) authority and repurposing unused PPP funds.
“For months, Republicans have been pushing for a lean COVID-19 relief package that is targeted at providing critical relief for millions of Americans,” Guest said. “Tonight, we passed legislation that bolsters our nation’s response to the coronavirus by facilitating vaccine distribution, assisting small businesses, and supporting our healthcare providers and rural hospitals. The vaccine represents the light at the end of the tunnel of our battle against the coronavirus. With this relief package, we are hoping that Americans will approach that end quicker and with less burden.”
The COVID-19 relief agreement would reopen and increase funding for the PPP in support of our Mississippi small businesses and clarify PPP issues related to tax deductibility and other matters. It also would include $20 billion for vaccine and therapeutic production and $8.75 billion for vaccine distribution, $82 billion for our schools during the pandemic, and stimulus checks of $600 per qualifying individual and child, among other provisions.
Yesterday, Congressman Guest also announced in a press release that he “reaffirmed his commitment to fiscal responsibility while acknowledging the need for additional COVID-19 relief funds by cosponsoring a resolution ‘expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on addressing the reckless and unsustainable national debt while committing necessary resources to the COVID-19 pandemic.’”
Release from Congressman Michael Guest.