Defense Communities Coronavirus Relief Act Introduced in U.S. House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Denny Heck (WA-10), Jason Crow (CO-06), Andy Kim (NJ-03), and Derek Kilmer (WA-06) have introduced the Defense Communities Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, H.R. 7290, in the House of Representatives. The bill will provide targeted aid to defense communities, towns across America that proudly host U.S. military installations.
“State and local governments are bearing much of the burden in combatting the coronavirus,” said Heck. “And nowhere is that truer than in the defense communities that continue to support our servicemembers and the constant readiness of the United States military. We must help these communities weather this storm, both for their benefit and the benefit of our defense installations.”
“Our cities and states are on the front lines of this pandemic, and communities home to military bases are uniquely impacted. As Congress addresses the COVID-19 crisis, we need to make sure we’re fighting for defense communities like Aurora and helping provide targeted support for infrastructure projects,” said Crow. “I’m proud to join Congressman Heck in this effort to ensure our military bases and their communities have the resources they need during this critical time.”
“Our communities surrounding the Joint Base have been hard hit during this crisis, and I will fight for every resource possible to help our neighbors get back on their feet,” said Kim. “I’m proud to work alongside my colleagues to introduce this bill and to make sure our communities that house our nation’s heroes and keep our country safe have the help they need and deserve.”
“As we look to revitalize the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting infrastructure investments in our communities is a commonsense way to create jobs and get folks safely back to work, while helping our region fix our roads and bridges,” said Kilmer. “Rep. Heck’s Defense Communities Coronavirus Relief Act does just that - expanding the guidelines for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program to provide critical support to infrastructure projects that directly benefit the communities where our service members, their families, and the civilians who support these military installations, work and live. I’m proud to support it.”
H.R. 7290 will assist defense communities in three ways:
- By lowering the local cost share for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) from 30% to 5% for Fiscal Year 2021, in order to generate economic activity and spur job creation.
- By appropriating $150 million to the Department of Defense Impact Aid program, and lowering the military connected student requirements from 20% to 5% for Fiscal Years 2021 and 2022 in order to alleviate some of the fiscal burden on state and local governments, thereby increasing the number of eligible local education agencies (LEA) by 400%.
- By appropriating $50 million to the Defense Production Act fund to help support small businesses that military installation commanders deem “mission essential” in order to help bases avoid a gap in critical services.