O’Halleran-backed American Rescue Plan Heads to Biden’s Desk for Signature
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) voted to pass the Senate-amended version of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a comprehensive legislative package to address the public health and economic crises caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The legislation now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
“The fallout of this pandemic has impacted every facet of American life, putting mothers and fathers out of work, keeping kids hungry, crushing our health care and frontline heroes, and closing the doors of many of our beloved small businesses,” said O’Halleran. “Today, we took action to get a new, strong legislative package to the finish line and deliver meaningful relief to American families, businesses, schools, and health care systems. With over 500,000 American lives lost to this deadly and isolating virus, now is not the time to pump the brakes.”
The legislative package, now passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, includes new funding for vaccine infrastructure and distribution, schools, small businesses, tribes, unemployment benefits, broadband, and state and local aid– including over $7.6 billion in direct aid to Arizona. For context, the City of Casa Grande stands to receive over $10 million in direct funding. For a full breakdown of funds by city and county in Arizona prepared by the House Budget Committee, click HERE.
“As we move forward with the rollout of several safe and effective vaccines, each day brings our nation a step closer to normalcy,” O’Halleran continued. “We have begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we must not lose sight of the work ahead. I remain focused on providing the support and resources our communities need during this ongoing, developing crisis.”
The final legislation includes
- over $20 billion in additional funding to enhance the national COVID-19 vaccination program and improve the administration and distribution of vaccinations;
- an additional direct payment of $1,400 per person for all eligible Americans, bringing the total relief payment to $2,000 per person, including the $600 per person payments included in the relief package Congress passed in December;
- an extension of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), extending the $300 a week federal supplemental unemployment benefit through September 6, 2021;
- $51 billion to expand COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and mitigation;
- nearly $130 billion to help K-12 schools re-open safely;
- $7.1 billion in broadband investments to expand internet connectivity for students and rural, tribal, and underserved communities;
- $8.5 billion in new funding to support rural health care providers through the Provider Relief Fund;
- $27.5 billion for emergency rental assistance;
- $350 billion in state and local Coronavirus Relief Funds, broken down into
- $195.3 billion for states;
- $130.2 billion for local governments;
- $20 billion to federally recognized tribal governments;
- $4.5 billion for U.S. Territories;
- $7.25 billion in additional funding for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), expanding eligibility of 501(c) nonprofits of all sizes and types, excluding lobbying organizations;
- $15 Billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program;
- an extension of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) maximum benefits by 15 percent (through September 30, 2021);
- $1.1 billion in additional SNAP administrative funds to states;
- more than $5 billion in Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) so that low-income families have access to school meals and food assistance during both the school year and summer months;
- $39 billion through the Child Care and Development Block Grant for child care providers;
- and more than $14.5 billion for the VA to provide health care services;
- provisions to ensure veterans will not have any copays or cost-sharing for preventative treatment or services related to COVID-19 going back to April 2020;
- and nearly $400 million for up to 12 months of retraining assistance for veterans who are unemployed as a result of the pandemic.
Under the American Rescue Plan, federally recognized tribes– several of which in the First District experienced the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 during 2020– will receive
- $20 billion in direct relief for tribal governments;
- $6 billion for the Indian Health Service;
- $850 million for grants to Bureau of Indian Education-operated elementary and secondary schools as well as Tribal Colleges and Universities;
- $900 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs;
- $100 million for infrastructure via the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund;
- and $750 million to support the Indian Housing Block Grant and Indian Community Development Block Grant.
For a full list of legislative packages Congress has passed to address the Coronavirus pandemic, visit O’Halleran’s COVID-19 Legislative Action page, HERE.