Strickland Secures Millions in Relief Aid for South Sound, Sends American Rescue Plan to President’s Desk
Olympia, WA— Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) released the following statement after final passage of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act, landmark, life-saving legislation that will provide urgently-needed resources to defeat the virus, put vaccines in people’s arms, money into families’ pockets, children safely back into classrooms and people back to work. This legislation will now go to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
“This week is one of great progress and promise for South Sound families, communities and small businesses, as I joined my fellow Democrats to pass the American Rescue Plan and send it to President Biden’s desk for final signature.
“The vast majority of Washingtonians support this package, and that is why I worked with my colleagues to help shape the American Rescue Plan to deliver for the Tenth District. This survival package will mean millions in aid, and includes critical funding that I secured in my February 9th letter to support our state, local, and tribal communities across the South Sound,” said Strickland. “With tens of millions of Americans infected, more than half a million lives lost, over 18 million Americans unemployed and millions more hungry and food and housing insecure, the people of Washington can be assured that ‘Help Is On The Way,’ thanks todecisive action to enact this historic legislation.
“As I have said before, when your house is on fire, you do everything you can to put it out. The American Rescue Plan does just that, as the rescue operation we need to protect jobs, end this pandemic, and save lives. As this life-saving, jobs-creating bill is signed into law, I will keep working with my colleagues on behalf of Washingtonians and all Americans to meet this moment as we continue to advance progress to Build Back Better - and more Equitably - For The People.”
The Biden American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods by:
- Delivering an estimated $7 billion in aid for our state, including:
- $63 million for the City of Tacoma
- $10 million for the City of Olympia
- $15 million for the City of Lakewood
- $176 million for Pierce county
- $56 million for Thurston county
- $13 million for Mason county
- Keeping first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers safely on the job. State and local governments have been forced to lay off 1.4 million public servants due to the pandemic. This crucial relief will help communities across the South Sound fill budget gaps and continue providing services to constituents in need. A December survey found that 90% of municipal governments experienced a decline in revenue and 75% saw an increase in expenditures.
- Putting Vaccines in Arms: The plan will mount a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide and addressing disparities facing communities of color. It will also take complementary measures to combat the virus, including scaling up testing and tracing, addressing shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, investing in high-quality treatments and addressing health care disparities.
- Putting Money in People’s Pockets: The plan finishes the job on the President’s promise to provide $2,000 in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December. The plan will also provide direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, expand access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care, extend unemployment insurance so that 18 million American workers can pay their bills and support 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and more than 17 million low-wage workers through an improved Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Putting Children Safely Back in School: The plan delivers $170 billion for education and $45 billion for child care providers. This includes a $130 billion investment in K-12 school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom, with funds that can be used for such things as reducing class sizes, modifying spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improving ventilation, implementing more mitigation measures, providing personal protective equipment and providing summer school or other support for students that help make up lost learning time this year. The plan also provides more than $40 billion for higher education.
- Putting People Back In Jobs: The plan will provide crucial support for the hardest-hit small businesses, especially those owned by entrepreneurs from racial and ethnic backgrounds that have experienced systemic discrimination, with EIDL grants, expanded PPP eligibility and more. The plan also provides crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.
The American Rescue Plan is strongly supported by a large majority of the American people – including 60 percent of Republicans – bipartisan state and local leaders, national education groups, trade unions and advocacy organizations and hundreds of businesses and chambers of commerce. Economists agree that the American Rescue Plan’s targeted, evidence-based action is needed – both for struggling families and for the American economy. The legislation’s provisions will generate $1.25 for every $1 of spending, will cut child poverty in half and will lift nearly 12 million people out of poverty.
Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland serves as a Member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.