Congressman Vela announces passage of the American Rescue Plan of 2021

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal
Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34) announced final passage of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan.

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34) announced final passage of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan.

The bold piece of legislation follows through on the promise that Democrats would deliver assistance to hurting families quickly. This legislation will help get more Americans vaccinated, provide stimulus checks to American households, help safely reopen schools and spur economic recovery by assisting small businesses, families and state and local governments. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Biden before March 14th, when unemployment benefits are set to expire.

“The American people deserve comprehensive relief to help tackle this once-in-a-generation pandemic,” said Congressman Filemon Vela. “I am very pleased with the provisions included in this bill that will directly help communities in South Texas. The 34th District of Texas will receive over $500 million in aid to help our local governments recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.  More than a year later, Americans are still feeling the harmful impacts of this virus and assistance is still needed for our nation to fully recover.  With tens of millions of Americans infected, more than half a million lives lost, over 18 million Americans unemployed and millions more food and housing insecure, the American Rescue plan will help deliver a boost to our economy and to American families. I look forward to continuing to support my community as we work to get everyone vaccinated, safely reopen our schools, and provide the necessary support for our small businesses and families so we can look forward to a day where we have fully conquered this virus.” 

H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: 

Puts Shots in Arms

Provides Over $20 billion to establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program and improve the administration and distribution of vaccinations.

 $1 billion for the CDC to undertake a vaccine awareness and engagement campaign

Provides $5.2 billion to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support advanced research, development, manufacturing, production, and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, and ancillary medical products for COVID-19. 

Delivers Money Directly to Americans’ Pockets 

Provides working families an additional direct payment of $1,400 per person, following the $600 direct payment approved in December of last year

The bill uses the same income threshold as the December legislation to determine which individuals receive the full $1,400 payment, before the phase-out begins. Under the bill, single filers with incomes up to $75,000, head of household filers with incomes up to $112,500, and joint filers with incomes up to $150,000 will receive the full payment of $1,400

Payments are phased out at $80,000 for single filers, $120,000 for head of household filers, and $160,000 for joint filers.

Provides Financial Assistance for Families

Extends unemployment benefits

Provides $27.5 billion for emergency rental assistance 

$10 billion for the Homeowner Assistance Fund

$4.75 billion for HOME Investment Partnership program to help Americans experiencing homelessness

Provides $5 billion to help Americans pay their utility bills 

Safely Reopens Schools

Provides Nearly $130 billion to states and school districts for immediate and long-term relief so they can work with public health experts to safely re-open schools and make up for the lost time in the classroom. 

Includes $40 billion for institutions of higher education to help make up for lost revenue due to the pandemic. 

Reduces Child Poverty 

The bill makes the child tax credit fully refundable for 2021 and increases the annual amount from the current $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6). 

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to issue advance payments of the child tax credit, based on the parents’ 2019 or 2020 tax returns.  

Provides Assistance to Small Businesses 

The bill includes provisions to support communities struggling with the economic fallout by providing crucial support for the hardest-hit small businesses, especially those owned by minorities 

$7.25 billion in additional funding for PPP and expands eligibility 

Nearly $29 billion for a Restaurant Revitalization Fund to help restaurants and bars hit hardest by the pandemic 

$15 billion for COVID-19 Emergency Grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program 

Expands COVID-19 Testing

Provides $51 Billion to Expand Testing, Contact Tracing, and Mitigation and Related Activities

$10 billion to boost the Defense Production Act to close the gap in domestic manufacturing to fulfill U.S. public health needs. 

$1.75 billion for genomic surveillance so that the U.S. can begin to adequately detect and respond to emerging and potentially more dangerous strains of SARS-COV-2 throughout the world. This infrastructure will also be critical to responding to future viral outbreaks. 

$500 million to allow CDC to establish, expand, and maintain data surveillance and analytics, including modernizing the United States’ disease warning system to forecast and track hotspots for COVID-19. 

Directly Supports Texas and Texas’ District 34 Communities 

The state of Texas will receive $27,619,954,092.53

The 34th Congressional District of Texas will receive $ 502,012,308.3

Alamo city 

$4,341,154.86  

Alice city 

$4,073,403.07  

Bayview town 

$84,817.14  

Bee County 

$6,315,781.21  

Beeville city 

$2,789,371.88  

Brownsville 

$67,702,338.97  

Cameron County 

$82,069,858.02  

Combes town 

$650,628.13  

Cuero city 

$1,795,768.53  

DeWitt County 

$3,909,907.85  

Donna city 

$3,562,319.84  

Goliad city 

$436,949.99  

Goliad County 

$1,485,221.94  

Gonzales County 

$4,041,207.84  

Harlingen 

$22,125,517.46  

Hidalgo County 

$212,702,647.75  

Jim Wells County 

$7,851,234.61  

Kenedy County 

$78,353.31  

Kingsville city 

$5,519,655.21  

Kleberg County 

$5,950,197.07  

La Feria city 

$1,576,421.38  

Laguna Vista town 

$693,363.76  

Los Fresnos city 

$1,708,771.00  

Los Indios town 

$231,121.25  

Lyford city 

$553,818.85  

Mathis city 

$1,028,053.50  

Nixon city 

$554,254.93  

Odem city 

$514,571.85  

Orange Grove city 

$283,886.67  

Palm Valley city 

$270,368.26  

Port Isabel city 

$1,364,051.47  

Premont city 

$554,472.97  

Primera town 

$1,118,539.65  

Progreso city 

$1,296,023.33  

Progreso Lakes city 

$63,449.33  

Rancho Viejo town 

$536,375.74  

Raymondville city 

$2,372,263.43  

Rio Hondo city 

$590,231.35  

San Benito 

$9,629,321.30  

San Diego city 

$920,342.27  

San Juan city 

$8,069,184.28  

San Patricio city 

$81,764.59  

San Patricio County 

$12,941,872.58  

San Perlita city 

$121,229.64  

Santa Rosa town 

$593,719.97  

Sinton city 

$1,167,380.37  

Smiley city 

$124,282.18  

South Padre Island town 

$605,712.11  

Weslaco city 

$9,076,742.12  

Willacy County 

$4,142,252.58  

Yoakum city 

$1,295,151.17  

Yorktown city 

$446,979.78  

TOTAL $502,012,308.32