Washington Representative Denny Heck recently introduced the “Defense Communities Coronavirus Relief Act” (H.R. 7290) to the U.S. House, which would “provide targeted aid to defense communities, towns across America that proudly host U.S. military installations.”

The bill was cosponsored by representatives Jason Crow, Andy Kim, and Derek Kilmer.

H.R. 7290 would aid defense communities in three way. First it proposes lowering local cost share for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) from 30% to 5% for FY21. The intention behind this decision would be to “generate economic activity and spur job creation.”

The bill would also appropriate $150 million to the Department of Defense Impact Program, and lower military connected student requirements to 20% to 5%.

Finally, H.R. 7290 would appropriate $50 million to the Defense Production Act Fund to help small businesses that military commanders deem “mission essential.”

“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 Rep. Kilmer.

FEMA photo by K.C. Wilsey