NewDEAL Applauds Relief to States and Cities in American Rescue Plan
COVID-19 Relief Addresses Key Concerns of Top State, Local Leaders
Washington, D.C. – With today’s vote on final passage by the U.S. House, the American Rescue Plan Act that heads to President Biden’s desk provides vital funding for states, counties, and municipalities to deal with the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19. The legislation includes the top federal pandemic relief priorities of NewDEAL Leaders by allocating $350 billion to state, local, and tribal governments and ensuring flexibility for state and local leaders in using those funds to meet their most pressing challenges.
“The American Rescue Plan Act provides desperately-needed relief to state and local leaders who are on the frontlines responding to the many crises caused by the pandemic,” said NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan. “From keeping people safe to ensuring residents can stay in their homes to supporting businesses hardest hit by COVID-19, NewDEAL Leaders and so many of their colleagues across the country have stepped up with swift and effective actions even amid extraordinary budgetary pressures. With President Biden’s signature, these leaders will receive a huge boost in their ability to continue their efforts.
“In addition to appropriating desperately needed funding, this legislation includes two key differences from last year’s CARES Act that were prioritized by NewDEAL Leaders: (1) an ending to the requirement that governments spend stimulus money on new initiatives, which allows them to use the new federal funds to replace lost revenue, and (2) inclusion of funds for municipalities with fewer than 500,000 residents.
“NewDEAL is grateful for the leadership and vision of President Biden and Vice President Harris, as well as the hard work of Speaker Pelosi, Senator Schumer, and all of the members of Congress who recognized the critical role of state and local leaders in building back better. We continue to see what a difference it makes to have a partner in the White House who is committed to listening to and advocating for state and local officials.”
Other provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act that, in part, address NewDEAL’s 2021 federal policy recommendations include:
Increased health insurance affordability and access;
Emergency rental and housing assistance; and
A major investment in K-12 schools, including specific funds for summer enrichment, after-school programs, and education technology, all of which will help get students back into classrooms and address the learning loss crisis.
NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), is a selective national network of state and local elected officials who are pro-growth progressives, with Honorary Co-Chairs U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and former Delaware Governor Jack Markell. Members of the 160-person network covering 47 states have been chosen from among more than 1500 nominations over its nine-year history, and are working to enact pro-growth progressive solutions in a diverse array of communities. The network of rising leaders has included more than 20 who have ascended to higher office since the fall of 2018, such as five members elected to Congress during that time.
The NewDEAL brings together leaders focused on expanding opportunity, helping them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable. Learn more about the NewDEAL at http://www.newdealleaders.org/