American Rescue Plan

The United States Congress passed the American Rescue Plan, and President Biden signed it into law. The bill builds on the relief provided in the December relief package and extends important benefits. This article will discuss the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

A year after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, this landmark piece of legislation has made a real difference in millions of Americans’ lives. From expanding access to vaccines and testing to providing economic relief that has kept families out of poverty, prevented evictions and foreclosures, and helped small businesses keep their doors open.

The American Rescue Plan also includes $1.2 billion to fund mobile crisis intervention services – helping reduce domestic violence with immediate intervention, mental health supports, and community prevention efforts. And over $14 billion has been invested in housing – giving thousands of households rent, mortgage, and utility relief and allowing for the repair of damaged properties.

In addition, more than $13 billion has been committed to workforce programs – from training and expanding career paths to boosting Registered Apprenticeships, hiring bonuses in critical industries, and paying premium pay for essential workers. These investments and direct payroll support have contributed to one of the strongest job gains in American history.

The Treasury Department and the IRS are working to ensure that all eligible Americans receive their American Rescue Plan payments fast – with nearly 90 million Economic Impact Payments already disbursed. The Treasury Department is also making it easier to verify eligibility by providing an online portal where individuals can update their information for mid-year 2021 so they’re able to receive their additional Child Tax Credit advance payments.

American Rescue Plan Pension Relief

American Rescue Plan Pension Relief

The Pension Relief provisions in the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) are intended to help multiemployer pension plans avoid insolvency and protect the benefits of the workers who have paid into their pensions for years and even decades. These provisions are available through the new Special Financial Assistance program administered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

Senator Murray fought for the inclusion of this provision in the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act, which was included in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that President Biden signed into law on March 11, 2021. The PBGC has now approved 37 applications for the Special Financial Assistance (SFA) program under ARPA and is reviewing many more.

The American Rescue Plan provides an important source of funding for the PBGC to help save failing multiemployer pensions through this new, streamlined application process. As a result, the PBGC has now been able to approve nearly $36 billion in SFA for the Central States Pension Fund, preventing severe cuts to the hard-earned retirement income of Teamster workers and retirees. The PBGC expects the SFA to keep the Central States Pension Fund solvent, protecting workers’ and retirees’ full retirement benefits for generations to come.

American Rescue Plan Grants

American Rescue Plan Grants 2024

The American Rescue Plan is making grant opportunities available to community organizations, small businesses, and local governments to support community recovery efforts. The grants are part of the American Generation Fund, a $1 billion investment by the American Rescue Plan in volunteer management practices that increase both volunteer recruitment and retention.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) established by the American Rescue Plan has helped millions of students stay enrolled in school and avoid dropping out due to the pandemic. This program has also helped students meet basic needs like food, housing, and transportation.

Congress’ 2023 omnibus appropriations bill and changes made to the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Act (SLFRA) have expanded the ways that states, cities, towns, counties, tribal nations, and U.S. territories can use their FRFs to meet their local needs and build an equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the new flexibilities allow states to better target resources to the communities with the most need.

American Rescue Plan Funds

American Rescue Plan Funds

Counties can use their American Rescue Plan funds to support local projects and infrastructure, including water, sewer, and broadband internet. In addition, counties can also use their appropriations to pay for the costs of services such as law enforcement and fire protection.

American Rescue Plan funds are helping communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities are using these resources to provide direct relief to workers and families, help them access essential services, and rebuild their economy and lives.

Across the country, communities are leveraging American Rescue Plan investments to deliver training and expand career paths, encourage more Registered Apprenticeships, and help those facing employment barriers get good jobs. These investments and the American Rescue Plan’s direct payroll support that has saved and restored thousands of jobs have helped drive the fastest, strongest jobs recovery in America’s history.

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