WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) released a statement after he voted to pass the COVID-19 relief package to help America end the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly a year ago, the first West Virginian was diagnosed with COVID-19. We have spent the last year mourning over 500,000 Americans and over 2,300 West Virginians who lost their lives due to this horrific virus. Our healthcare providers and frontline workers have worked tirelessly to care for their fellow West Virginians, our students and teachers have adjusted to new ways of learning, and our small businesses and restaurants closed their doors to protect their communities from COVID-19. This was a challenging year that tested every American, but we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
Today the Senate passed a COVID-19 relief package that will help kill the COVID-19 pandemic and set us on the right track to economic recovery. This bill provides $14.2 billion for COVID-19 vaccines, $49 billion for testing and tracing. $8.5 billion for rural health providers, and $7.6 billion for community health centers, ensuring the vaccine continues to be our top priority and healthcare workers receive the support they deserve. This pandemic also impacted our students, communities, families and small businesses. West Virginia alone will receive approximately $140 million for broadband expansion, $152 million for emergency rental assistance, and $1.34 billion for our schools and childcare facilities. Every city, town, village and county in the state will receive funding to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and support essential frontline workers. A vast majority of West Virginians will also receive $1,400 stimulus checks. We were also able to extend unemployment benefits through the end of August and protect those receiving unemployment benefits and making less than $150,000 from being hit with an unexpected tax bill next year. This relief bill will help West Virginia rebuild after this incredibly difficult year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our entire nation and through it all, West Virginians have banded together to keep our loved ones safe. The end is within reach and this COVID-19 relief package is what West Virginia needs to put this pandemic behind us once and for all. I am proud to vote for this relief package and I look forward to seeing the President sign this bill into law.”Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)