WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) today voted enthusiastically in support of the American Rescue Plan Act, based on President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan. The bill was passed by the Senate this weekend and now goes to President Biden’s desk.

“It has been a year since our state had our first COVID cases,” said Rep. Schrier. “The American people need help. And they needed it a long time ago. This legislation is the bold action we need to get our economy reopened, children back into classrooms, and every American vaccinated. This bill meets the moment and charts our path out of the pandemic.”

Rep. Schrier, the first and only pediatrician in Congress, spoke on the floor of the House to highlight the ways America’s children will benefit from this bill. The provisions:

  • Expand the Child Tax Credit with direct monthly checks up to $300 that benefit 93% of children in this county and cut child poverty in half
  • Increase funding by $350 million for child abuse prevention, based on a bill Rep. Schrier re-introduced last month
  • Boost WIC nutrition assistance for women and infants by $35/month for fruits and vegetables, which is Rep. Schrier’s WIC Benefit Flexibility During COVID-19 Act
  • Provide nearly $130 billion to help K-12 schools re-open safely and stay open

More information about what is in the bill can found here.

The American Rescue Plan Act has support throughout the 8th District:

Krestin Bahr, Eatonville School District Superintendent: “We appreciate Dr. Schrier’s advocacy for schools and families. We know that education will be at the epicenter of recovery from the pandemic, and will be leaned upon heavily in the upcoming years as a mental health and safety resource for our children. Additional funding is critical to our ability to respond to the trauma endured by students during the pandemic. We know that the Fall will bring additional requirements for ongoing vaccination options and continued testing requirements to keep schools safely reopened and serving ALL children, especially those furthest from educational justice. Thank you for your support for children.”

Alan Spicciati, Auburn School District Superintendent: “Students have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, both academically and socially. The last year has hit our students and families of color and of poverty especially hard. Support from this aid package will enable schools to return students safely and help students recover the instruction they lost during distance learning. We are grateful for the support of Representative Schrier in getting schools open successfully.”

The American Rescue Plan:

  • Provides nearly $130 billion to help K-12 schools re-open safely
  • Includes $7.6 billion to expand internet connectivity to students and teachers to help address the digital divide
  • Increases SNAP benefits by 15% until Sept. 30, 2021, expanding funding and eligibility
  • Provides money for testing, which can be used to ensure our schools remain safe spaces

Brittiany Karlson, Owner, Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro, Auburn: “…I am grateful to see lawmakers taking the necessary actions to assist some of the hardest hit small businesses. We still have a long way to go to fully recover, but I hope this is a step forward for restaurant owners during this mentally, emotionally and financially draining time. I am hoping this assistance will allow me to bring back more of my staff as we re-open the state and help me pay for the supplies & outdoor accommodations to keep our guests & staff safe. I am grateful to be acknowledged & supported by our lawmakers and I hope that they continue to fight for us, like we’re fighting for our staff, communities and our dreams.”

The American Rescue Plan includes:

  • $25 billion for a new program at SBA to offer assistance to restaurants and bars with 20 or fewer locations that have been hit hard by the pandemic
  • $7.25 billion in additional funding for PPP and expands eligibility of 501(c) nonprofits of all sizes and types, except for 501(c)4 lobbying organizations
  • $20 billion for improving COVID-19 vaccine education, administration, and distribution, including vaccination clinics and mobile vaccination units. This includes funding for Rep Schrier’s VACCINES Act, a vaccine awareness campaign that was signed into law last year
  • $7.5 billion for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prepare, promote, distribute, administer, monitor, and track COVID-19 vaccines
  • $46 billion for improved testing and contact tracing—including manufacturing and distribution of rapid tests and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • $350 billion for new Coronavirus Relief Funds for states, localities, and the Tribal Governments, to help keep critical workers like frontline health workers, first responders, and teachers on the job.

Kevin Overbay, Chelan County Commissioner: “I appreciate the actions of Rep. Schrier in her support of this relief package. This package will provide counties the ability to not only backfill lost revenue, which is vital to providing essential services to our citizens, but will also assist us in providing an equitable and directed response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across all segments of our population. This direct allocation from the Treasury coupled with the three plus year spend down timeline is invaluable to providing resources for counties to not only offset pandemic impacts in the short term, but to enhance our ability to plan and respond to recovery strategies over the long term. We deeply appreciate the actions of Congress in hearing the voices of local government and providing us the tools that will make a difference in the lives of the citizens we serve!”

Dr. Anthony L-T Chen, Director of Health, Tacoma-Pierce County Public Health Department: “The American Rescue Plan provides critical aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. It supports contact tracers, public health nurses, epidemiologists, community health workers and other essential workers to control and prevent COVID-19. It bolsters vaccine distribution and administration efforts from the Federal to local level to protect our residents. If we want society and the economy to recover, if we want our kids back in school, supporting public health efforts is not optional; it is essential.”

Malcom Butler, M.D., Health Officer, Chelan County Health District: “In our rural counties, the COVID pandemic strained our Public Health system to pieces. A lot of senior Public Health workers, and their associated knowledge, was lost along the way…We need money and we need Public Health to be cast as a high integrity and heroic career choice. Inclusion in the COVID relief bill will do both of those things.”