Larsen Supports American Rescue Plan Passage To Deliver Real Relief to Northwest Washington
Washington, D.C., March 10, 2021
Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted to deliver further relief to Washingtonians struggling with the economic and public health impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The final version of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed the House of Representatives by a final vote of 220 to 211.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted to deliver further relief to Washingtonians struggling with the economic and public health impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The final version of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed the House of Representatives by a final vote of 220 to 211.
“Washingtonians are still hurting and need real relief now,” said Larsen. “This comprehensive aid package gets more vaccines in arms, puts money in pockets, gets working families back to work, helps school districts safely reopen, and ensures communities can continue to pay first responders and maintain essential services.”
The comprehensive aid package addresses many of Larsen’s priorities, which are based on conversations with Second District families, community leaders and small business owners, including:
Accelerated, Equitable Vaccine Distribution
The public health response will lead economic recovery. The American Rescue Plan provides more than $20 billion to establish a national vaccination program to improve and accelerate vaccine administration and distribution.
Direct Economic Impact Payments
The American Rescue Plan provides a direct payment of $1,400 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $2,800 for married couples making up to $150,000 per year, including checks for mixed-status households. The $1,400 payment builds on the $600 down payment in December’s pandemic aid package, fulfilling the promise of a total relief payment of $2,000.
Extension of Federal Unemployment Benefits
Last month, more than 7,500 people who live in the five counties of the Second District filed an initial claim for unemployment. The relief package maintains a $300 per week increase in federal unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021 to help unemployed Washingtonians pay bills and put food on the table. The plan also makes the first $10,200 of federal unemployment benefits non-taxable for people with household incomes of less than $150,000.
Emergency Child Care Assistance
Since the pandemic began, child care capacity in each county in the Second District has decreased significantly – by more than 20 percent in Island, Skagit and Snohomish counties and nearly 50 percent in Whatcom and San Juan counties. The American Rescue Plan provides $39 billion in grant funding to help providers safely keep doors open and ensure working families can afford child care. The plan also includes $1 billion for Head Start to give low-income families quality child care and development opportunities in a safe and healthy environment.
Resources to Safely Reopen Schools, Bridge Digital Divide
School districts across Northwest Washington continue to assess in-person, online or hybrid education. The American Rescue Plan invests nearly $130 billion in grant funding to help K-12 schools nationwide safely reopen, including approximately $144.8 million for Second District school districts. The plan also includes $7.6 billion to bridge the digital divide in communities nationwide.
State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Government Aid
More than 1.4 million women and men who work in state and local government nationwide have lost jobs since the pandemic began. The American Rescue Plan provides flexible assistance for state, local, tribal and territorial governments to pay essential workers and continue providing essential services. Preliminary relief estimates include:
Aerospace and Aviation Support
The pandemic has caused an estimated 100,000 aerospace manufacturing workers nationwide to lose their jobs, and 220,000 additional jobs are at risk of furlough. The American Rescue Plan includes bipartisan language Larsen championed to help cover costs of pay and benefits for aerospace supply chain employees at risk of being furloughed or who were furloughed due to the pandemic. The bill also includes an $15 billion extension of the successful Payroll Support Program through September 30, 2021, to save aviation jobs. Further, the package provides $8 billion to help U.S. airports and airport concessionaires operate safely.
Larsen, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is focused on moving forward with a bold investment in the nation’s transportation and infrastructure to support local communities, fight climate change and keep people and the economy moving.
“The nation needs an aggressive and progressive FDR-like investment in the U.S. transportation network to create jobs, ensure the safety of the traveling public and foster cleaner and greener innovation.”
To read a summary of the American Rescue Plan, click here.
To watch Larsen’s virtual discussion with Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin on the local impact of the American Rescue Plan, click here.