Contact: Caroline Tabler or James Arnold (202) 734-0430
December 22, 2020 

Cotton Secures Key Priorities in Pandemic Relief Package 

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) announced that the following provisions were included in the latest Covid-19 relief package.

“After months of Democratic stalling, Congress finally passed updated relief for Arkansans and Americans around the country. I’m pleased that many provisions helping Arkansans recover and get back to work were included in the final bill,” said Cotton. 

Vaccine Support:

  • $20 billion to purchase vaccines that will be available at no charge to anyone who needs it.
  • $8 billion for vaccine distribution.
  • $20 billion to assist states with testing.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

  • 2nd round of PPP loans for small businesses that have suffered losses caused by the pandemic.
  • Simplifies loan forgiveness applications for PPP loans of $150,000 or less.
  • Expenses paid with PPP loans are tax deductible.
  • Mandates the eligibility of religious institutions and includes small broadcasters as eligible businesses.
  • Planned Parenthood is barred from receiving PPP second-draw loans. Senator Cotton led 27 other senators in urging the Department of Justice to investigate Planned Parenthood after it improperly received PPP loans through the CARES Act earlier this year.

Poultry and Timber Payments:

  • Poultry growers under contract will be eligible for payments.
  • Provides $200 million in assistance to timber harvesting and hauling businesses that suffered losses greater than 10 percent as a result of the pandemic.

Livestock Dealer Trust: 

  • Ensures that cattle sellers receive payment if a livestock dealer becomes insolvent.

Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act:

  • Extends Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients who do not have other coverage. 

Medicaid Access for Marshallese Arkansans

  • Extends Medicaid eligibility to citizens of Freely Associated States living in the United States, including many Marshallese residents of Northwest Arkansas.

Water Resources Development Act:

  • Authorizes the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) channel deepening project.
  • Authorizes the Ouachita and Black Rivers water supply project.

Rural Access to Hospice Act:

  • Allows beneficiaries to keep their known Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and RHC physician when they choose to enter hospice.

Federal Reserve:

  • Ensures that Federal Reserve emergency lending powers cannot be repurposed beyond their goal of restoring functioning credit markets.


The legislative package also included several national security priorities for Senator Cotton, including:

Taiwan Assurance Act:

  • Senator Cotton introduced the Taiwan Assurance Act in 2019 to enhance the U.S.-Taiwan relationship and bolster Taiwan's participation in the international community.

Huawei Replacement Funding: 

  • Provides funding for rural carriers to remove Huawei gear from their networks.