On March 10, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) voted to pass the American Rescue Plan – an emergency legislative package to fund vaccinations, provide immediate and direct relief to families bearing the weight of the COVID-19 crisis, get kids safely back to school, and support affected communities. Wednesday, Rep. Kilmer and leaders in Washington’s sixth congressional district highlighted the vital resources that are provided for Washington families and communities.
“Over the last year, I’ve spoken with folks across our region who have lost their jobs, lost their small businesses, and lost loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve heard a lot of pain. People in our region need help. That’s why I’ve been outspoken in pushing Congress to take action so folks get the help they need to get through this,” said Rep. Kilmer. “I supported the American Rescue Plan because it will help us beat back this virus, enable kids to get back to school safely, support our local businesses, and provide a hand to folks that are trying to keep a roof over their heads, feed their families, and pay their bills.”
“I’m grateful for the hard work and partnership of Tacoma’s congressional delegation over this past year,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “They heard our concerns about the City’s revenue shortfalls and impacts to essential government services due to COVID-19. As mayor of Tacoma, I am excited for the funding that the City will receive through the American Rescue Plan and I’m eager to put those dollars to work to support our community.”
“The American Rescue Plan will make a huge difference in Clallam County. In addition to bolstering resources for COVID-19 resilience and our public health effort, we are anxious to continue to support local businesses as well as the network of non-profit organizations that are providing emergency food, sheltering, health care, child care and other vital services in this time of great need,” said Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias. “The scope of the American Rescue Plan gives us the opportunity not just to recover, but to thrive.”
“I sincerely appreciate Rep. Kilmer’s continued support,” said Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal L. Dingler. “The instability caused by closures and cutbacks due to the virus have created distress and instability in our communities. Kilmer and his colleagues’ bold action will help all of us to put food on empty tables, return kids and teachers safely to our schools, and create job security so all of us can hold our heads high and provide for our families.”
The pandemic and economic crisis have had a severe impact on Washington:
- Since the pandemic began, more than 345,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 5,000 people have died.
- The unemployment rate is 6.3%, up from 4.1% before the pandemic.
- Since February 2020, more than 208,000 fewer people are employed.
- 413,000 adults – 8% of all adults in the state – report not having enough food to eat. This includes 219,000 adults living with children, or 11% of all adults living with children, who report that the children in their household do not have enough to eat.
- An estimated 228,000 renters or 12% of renters are not caught up on rent.
- An estimated 1.4 million adults or 26% of all adults statewide report having difficulty covering normal household expenses.
But for Washington’s families, communities and small businesses, the American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods with targeted state and local relief:
- $4.5 billion in state fiscal relief
- $2.7 billion in local fiscal relief (additional details below)
- More than $1.8 billion in relief for K-12 schools
- Economic impact payments of up to $1,400 per person (above the $600 per person provided in December) for more than 4.4 million adults and 1.6 million children. This includes 80% of all adults in the state and 77% of all children in the state.
- Additional relief of up to $1,600 per child through the Child Tax Credit to the families of 1.4 million children, lifting 66,000 children out of poverty
- Additional relief of up to nearly $1,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit to 360,000 childless workers, including many in frontline jobs
- Marketplace health insurance premiums that are $1,117 lower per month for a 60-year old couple earning $75,000 per year
And the American Rescue Plan delivers robust resources for every American:
- Put Vaccines in Arms:The plan mounts a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide and addressing disparities facing communities of color. It also scales up testing and tracing, addresses shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, invests in high-quality treatments and addresses health care disparities.
- Put Money in People’s Pockets: The plan finishes the job on the President’s promise to provide $2,000 in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December. The plan also provides direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance, expands access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care, extends Unemployment Insurance, expands the Child Tax Credit and improves the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Put Children Safely Back in School: The plan delivers $170 billion for education and $45 billion for child care providers nationally. 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 to reduce class sizes, modify spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improve ventilation, implement more mitigation measures and provide personal protective equipment. The plan also provides more than $40 billion for higher education.
- Put People Back in Jobs: 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 crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.
State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Estimates (in millions)
Clallam County – 15.00
Jefferson County – 6.25
Mason County – 12.95
Forks – 0.84
Port Angeles – 4.41
Port Townsend – 2.14
Shelton – 2.32
Sequim – 1.66