Richmond, VA — With passage of the American Rescue Plan this week, millions of Virginians will soon see long-awaited economic relief thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress. Key features of the legislation include $1,400 checks for most Americans, more relief funding for small businesses, aid money to schools to help them reopen safely, and a boost to CDC funding to speed up vaccinations.
The legislation has strong bipartisan support among Americans, with polls showing a majority of voters support the bill and believe it will help the economy. Yet Virginia Republicans have consistently opposed the bill, with all four GOP Congressmen from Virginia voting against it and not one GOP candidate for governor coming out in support of it.
Now, new details show just how much the American Rescue Plan will help Virginia weather the COVID-19 crisis. The bill will provide:
- Over $7.3 billion in state and local funding
- More than $2 billion in relief for Virginia's K-12 schools
- Economic impact payments of up to $1,400 per person for more than 5 million adults and 1.8 million children. This is 82% of all adults and 81% of all children in Virginia
- A boost to the Child Tax Credit that will deliver up to $3,600 per child to the families of over 1.5 million children, lifting 85,000 Virginia children out of poverty
- Additional relief of up to nearly $1,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit to 419,000 childless workers, including many in frontline jobs
Here's what Virginians are saying about the American Rescue Plan:
“Virginia has made excellent progress in our vaccine rollout, with over 1.5 million Virginians receiving a vaccine so far. Now the American Rescue Plan will put us on a path to vaccinating everyone faster than ever. The bill includes $7.5 billion for the CDC to speed up vaccine distribution and more funding for testing and PPE to keep people safe. As someone who spent the last year on the front lines of this pandemic, I know this is the kind of response we need to defeat COVID-19,” said Dr. Ebony Hilton, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, University of Virginia.
"As the parent of a Loudoun County public schools student, I want our students and teachers to be safe when schools reopen. This bill makes that a priority, with additional funding for Virginia's schools and more resources to expand vaccine distribution. The American Rescue Plan is going to help reopen our schools safely, and I'm grateful that Democrats got it done," said Margie Shepard, a Loudoun County Public Schools parent.
"Over the past year, independent restaurants like mine have been struggling to make ends meet as we've done everything possible to adapt to COVID-19. PPP loans have helped, but we've always needed more support. When President Biden said, 'help is on the way,' he meant it. The American Rescue Plan includes nearly $30 billion in grants to restaurants to cover lost revenue, with a priority on helping small restaurants and those owned by women and minorities. On top of this, the legislation will boost PPP funds to help us cover costs and get money into the hands of our customers to encourage them to dine out. While we still have a long way to go to return to normal, this legislation is a crucial lifeline," said Laura Wood Habr, co-owner Croc’s 19th Street Bistro, Virginia Beach.
"Child care providers have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Rescue Plan's $39 billion in direct funding for these providers across the country will help us weather the next few months until we can safely return to normal. Without this aid many providers would be forced to close, leaving children and parents across the commonwealth without critical care and support. With women and people of color making up the vast majority of child care workers, this bill will provide critical aid to some of the most vulnerable in our communities," said Monica Jones, Director and Owner of Toadally Kidz Child Care Center, Roanoke.