The House Passes COVID Relief Bill, What This Means For Michigan

The House Passes COVID Relief Bill, What This Means For Michigan

LANSING - According to a press release, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin voted in favor of the American Rescue Plan this afternoon, a COVID relief bill that now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

The press release said the bill will provide much-needed funding to achieve multiple goals. This includes ramping up vaccine distribution, delivering roughly $3.92 billion to K-12 schools across Michigan to help
pay for COVID-related changes in the schools, and to help with safe reopenings. It will also usher in more relief for small businesses with additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.

By establishing a dedicated $25 billion restaurant relief fund, the bill will provide up to $1,400 stimulus payments for those who qualify. It extends federal unemployment benefits through early Sep. and provides funding for state and local governments to keep services going, prevent layoffs of firefighters and police officers, and set Michigan communities up for a successful long-term recovery.

“In short, this bill will jumpstart our economy and help get us back to normal as soon as possible,” Slotkin said. “Right now, folks aren’t secure. They’re struggling to keep their businesses open, to make their mortgage payments and even just to cover the cost of their prescriptions. Michiganders have been hit hard by this crisis, and the bill we passed today will begin to make a difference for people across my district almost immediately.”

According to the press release, the American Recovery Act will use various tax credits and an expansion of the Affordable Care Act to insure an additional $1.3 million to Americans by next year and puts $20 billion toward a national vaccination program that includes setting up mass vaccination sites nationwide.

The bill distributes $4.38 billion specifically to help local governments in Michigan keep essential workers, like police officers and firefighters, on the payroll and roughly $3.92 billion for K-12 schools in the state to help them safely reopen and get students back in the classroom.

“This bill isn’t perfect, but it provides the jolt we need to get our economy up and running,” Slotkin said. “The American Rescue Plan will help Michigan defeat the virus by supercharging vaccine distribution and making it much easier and faster for people to get their shots.”

Slotkin said the American Rescue Plan will provide more targeted stimulus checks to qualified Americans.

To support our higher education institutions, the press release said the bill will provide $40 billion nationally to help colleges and universities across the country, including schools in the 8th District; Michigan State University, Lansing Community College, Clearly University, Rochester University and Oakland University.

Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement after the House passed the American Rescue Plan.

“President Biden and Michigan’s Congressional Democrats have delivered critical aid to the people of Michigan and Americans nationwide with this investment in our families, communities, small businesses, and children,” Whitmer said. “This bold bill will, among several other pieces, send $1,400 stimulus checks to 90% of households, extend $300 weekly unemployment benefits through September 6th, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families, vastly increase the child tax credit, and offer much needed support for America’s small and mid-sized businesses, including a dedicated restaurant relief fund.”

Whitmer said according to an analysis by Columbia University, the legislation will reduce poverty by one-third, cut child poverty in half, and provide aid to 150 million American households.

“The American Rescue Plan is a historic achievement on par with President Roosevelt’s New Deal and President Johnson’s Great Society in terms of how many Americans it will immediately and directly benefit,” Whitmer said. “This bill will send the state billions to help build our economy back better from the pandemic and boost our rollout of the three safe, effective vaccines.”

The $4.38 billion in funding for Michigan’s local governments, which would help keep essential workers on the payroll, includes, but is not limited to, Livingston County, Oakland County, Ingham County, Lansing, Brighton and Rochester Hills.

The bill also distributes an additional $1.25 billion for the SBA’s Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program to keep local venues open until concerts and other live events can be enjoyed again.

“I look forward to working across the aisle with the legislature to put these dollars to work quickly to support our working families, our kids, and our small businesses,” Whitmer said. “We’re living through colliding crises, but as President Biden says, our best days are ahead of us. Together, we will get there.”

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