(WASHINGTON, D.C., December 28, 2020) – The Niskanen Center applauds the House and Senate for overwhelmingly passing a $900 billion relief package to help the U.S. recover from the devastating effects of the coronavirus–and is proud to have contributed to the inclusion of three major provisions in the package. These provisions will provide enhanced economic relief to more American families, and better equip states to test, trace, and ultimately defeat  COVID-19. 

“As a think tank, our work can often seem theoretical. But with this package, we helped develop and advocate for policies with concrete and discernible impacts on families and communities across the country,” said Kodiak Hill-Davis, the Director of Government Affairs for the Niskanen Center. 

She added, “We cannot dismiss that Senate moderates made this compromise legislation possible by coming together in recent weeks to build a new bipartisan framework that forced party leaders back to the negotiating table.”

“Due to pandemic-induced income and job loss, millions of families risked losing the full benefit they receive from the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit,” noted Samuel Hammond, the Niskanen Center’s Director of Poverty and Welfare Policy. “Through our advocacy and the work of our coalition partners, we helped to ensure that households have the option to use their 2019 earnings when calculating their credits for the 2020 tax year.” 

That may sound minor,” added Hammond, “and yet it amounts to $4.5 billion in direct relief to the hardest-hit families.”

Kristie De Peña, Niskanen’s Vice President for Policy and Director of Immigration, added that with this bill, Congress expanded eligibility for economic impact payments to some mixed-status families excluded from assistance in the CARES Act. By providing retroactive and prospective payments, eligible immigrant families will see much-needed relief in the coming weeks.

“Niskanen is proud to contribute to strong, bipartisan leadership and hopes we can help replicate success for both parties in the next Congress,” De Peña said.  “Much more work needs to be done as immigrants continue to serve disproportionately as essential workers, and face difficulties due to the pandemic.” 

Hill-Davis concluded, “With a new administration and narrow margins in the House and Senate, we anticipate moderates will again be critical for any legislative action in 2021. Niskanen looks forward to continuing to advance pragmatic and inclusive solutions that meet the demands of this historically challenging time.”


The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.