Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, on Tuesday met with local officials in Lowndes and Dallas counties to highlight the direct relief local municipalities will receive from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
The American Rescue Plan Act creates a new Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to keep first responders, frontline health workers, teachers and other providers of vital services safely on the job as states and local governments roll out vaccines and fight to rebuild Main Street economies.
“Today I am thrilled to announce Lowndes County will receive $1.89 million and Dallas County will receive $7.21 million as part of the critically-needed funding provided by the historic American Rescue Plan,” Sewell said. “These counties have been among those in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District on the front lines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and this relief will go far in saving lives and livelihoods.”
“As the only member of the Alabama Congressional Delegation to vote in favor of this life-saving legislation, I was proud to join with Congressional Democrats to ensure equitable vaccination distribution, deliver direct relief to Alabamians and their families, put children safely back to school, and put people back in jobs,” Sewell said. “I want my constituents to know that Help is Here!”
The American Rescue Plan has several provisions:
- The plan spends $20 billion in additional funds for vaccinations including 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.
- The plan sends most Americans another $1,400 check in direct assistance to households across America, following the $600 down payment signed by President Trump 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.
- 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.
- The plan provides 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 funds to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.
Republicans opposed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package, citing the fact that it adds $1.9 trillion to the national debt.
Sewell’s American Rescue Plan District Tour is a series of site visits, roundtable discussions and constituency meetings to connect residents of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District with all the resources available in the American Rescue Plan. The tour began on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, and will continue through Friday, April 9, 2021.
Sewell is serving in her sixth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.