Across The Country, Senate Democrats Lay Out How The American Rescue Plan Is Improving Lives, Helping Communities Recover From COVID Pandemic

AP: Cortez Masto Touts Relief Law’s Help For Health Insurance News 4 Tucson: Sen. Kelly Helps Vaccinate Tucsonans At El Rio Health Center Vaccination Site. WXXI: Schumer Visits Rochester Touting Billions In COVID-19 Aid Pouring Into New York State PBS Wisconsin: Research On Coronavirus Variants At UW Lab Buoyed By CDC Funding

April 12, 2021

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ARIZONA

KTAR News: Sen. Sinema Holds Roundtable With Hard-Hit Arizona Business Owners. “U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona hosted a roundtable Monday with restaurant and event venue owners who are still licking their financial wounds and seeking assistance when it comes to making their way out of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. […] Sinema was a key player in passing the more than $25 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund and the soon-to-come $15 billion Save our Stages Act. She explained the latest funding for restaurants is expected to roll out over the next two weeks, starting with smaller businesses — those earning $500,000 annually or less — receiving first priority.” [KTAR News, 3/30/21]

News 4 Tucson: Sen. Kelly Helps Vaccinate Tucsonans At El Rio Health Center Vaccination Site. “Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly volunteered at an El Rio Health Center Vaccination site. Kelly continues to focus on vaccine access in the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities in Arizona. […] Kelly recently helped secure $135.4 million in the COVID-19 relief bill for Arizona community health centers, including nearly $19 million for El Rio Health Center. Those dollars will expand El Rio's work to vaccinate, test and treat Tucson's hardest-hit communities.” [News 4 Tucson, 3/31/21]

CALIFORNIA 

KGET: Padilla: Help is on the way for struggling families in Kern County. “Senator Alex Padilla pledged help Tuesday for struggling families in Kern County. ‘It’s been a tough year to put it mildly,’ said California’s newest senator about the impacts of the pandemic across the state and Kern County. During a virtual phone call Tuesday with leaders from the non-profit Community Action Partnership of Kern, Padilla promised that the resources of the United States government are dedicated to families in need. […] Padilla’s office said $2.5 billion from the legislation will go toward the Central valley, including roughly $314 million to Kern” [KGET, 3/30/21]

KPIX 5: COVID Vaccine: Senators Call For Oakland Coliseum, LA Mass Vaccination Sites To Stay Open Past April. “California senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla said Wednesday they requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency work with local and state governments to keep mass COVID-19 vaccination sites open in Oakland and Los Angeles past their planned April 11 end date. In a letter to acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton, Feinstein and Padilla asked for the sites at the Oakland Coliseum and California State University Los Angeles to stay open past the deadline, saying they have both been administering more than 7,500 doses per day, bolstering regional capacity.” [KPIX 5, 3/31/21]

COLORADO

CBS 4 Denver: Sen. Michael Bennet Helps Efforts To Get More Veterans Vaccinated For COVID. “Bennet toured a temporary vaccine clinic in Aurora on Tuesday. He also talked about his plan to speed the delivery of vaccines while putting veterans to work. He introduced a bill last year to create a “health force” to train 100,000 people for jobs in public health, with veterans getting priority. Congress included $8 billion in the latest stimulus to fund the bill.” [CBS 4 Denver, 4/6/21]

The Gazette: Sen. Hickenlooper visits Colorado Springs brewery, touts $28 billion relief program. “Senator John Hickenlooper visited Colorado Springs on Wednesday to discuss a new COVID-19 relief program for restaurants and breweries. The former Colorado governor met with several local business owners at the Atrevida Beer Company to review the benefits of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28 billion endowment created to provide aid to businesses in the food and beverage trade – an industry that has suffered greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic.” [The Gazette, 4/7/21]

CONNECTICUT

WTNH: Sen. Murphy, local leaders hold roundtable on summer enrichment programs in Waterbury. “Senator Murphy, along with state and local leaders, addressed the issue during a roundtable discussion in Waterbury. President Biden’s American enriched program provides a billion for Connecticut. ‘Part of that money has to be spent on summer programming, making sure that every kid in the state has an opportunity to a really great summer camp, rec program, summer school program,’ said Murphy.” [WTNH, 3/31/21]

Norwich Bulletin:  Blumenthal visits UCFS, talks about staffing, vaccine distribution. “Blumenthal visited United Community and Family Services (UCFS) in Norwich on Monday, to see how its vaccinations are going, and to see where the federally qualified health center will spend the more than $3.35 million it has received as a part of the American Rescue Plan. Recipients of this funding get it in two payments, and it can be used for vaccine distribution and other pandemic-related expenses and initiatives.” [Norwich Bulletin, 4/5/21]

DELAWARE

WDEL: Carper stops by Wilmington to see how PPP has helped aid REACH the community. “While hosting a visit from US Sen. Tom Carper to put on display just how PPP has been able to aid local nonprofits in Delaware, Herring said his organizations were able to continue doing good work throughout the community thanks to the program, which was recently extended through the end of May.” [WDEL, 3/29/21]

Bay to Bay News: Rescue plan aims to helps Delaware businesses stay alive. “Survival has been the name of the game when it comes to business owners and the challenges they have faced over the past year while battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Delaware’s congressional delegation joined the Small Business Administration and local chambers of commerce for a virtual event on Wednesday that highlighted available and expanded federal resources from a pool of $1.3 billion for Delaware’s small businesses through the American Rescue Plan Act, the pandemic relief bill signed into law earlier this month, and other federal legislation.” [Bay to Bay News, 3/31/21]

GEORGIA

Augusta Chronicle: Ossoff: Congress is delivering vaccine aid to Georgia and Augusta providers. “Registered nurse Katy Cunningham had a surprise Wednesday for U.S. Sen. John Ossoff, D-Ga., as he toured the East Central Health District COVID-19 vaccination site at the former Craig-Houghton Elementary School. On her scrubs she wore a sticker that read, ‘Vaccinate Your Ossoff,’ a play on one of his previous campaign slogans. Ossoff praised the work of Cunningham and other workers as he toured the facility and briefed local leaders on public health funding and other measures in the American Rescue Plan recently passed by Congress.” [Augusta Chronicle, 3/31/21]

WALB 10 News: Sen. Raphael Warnock tours Ga. Farms. “Warnock met with local farmers and producers about how important farmers are to the Peach State. He said his number one goal is to get Washington to remove what he says are unnecessary barriers for trade and better working conditions. […] Warnock said now that the American Rescue Plan is in place, it will help more than just farmers. ‘This plan will put checks in people’s pockets as they struggle through this pandemic, shots in their arms. With expanded earned income tax credit and expanded child tax credit, we are positioned to cut child poverty in half because of that portion of the bill. We provided support to farmers in general and farmers of color in particular. A lot of good stuff in this bill and it’s because Georgia stood up,’ said Warnock.” [WALB 10 News, 4/1/21]

HAWAII 

Hawaii Tribune-Herald: Schatz: Relief package will fend off ‘economic scarring’. “Federal coronavirus aid on its way to Hawaii will help the state avoid a prolonged economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Wednesday.” [Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 4/8/21]

ILLINOIS

WMBD: Durbin says more than 330,000 children in Illinois will be lifted out of poverty with expanded child tax credits. “Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the just-passed American Rescue Plan will lift 338,000 children in Illinois out of poverty Monday, March 29. The American Rescue Plan expanded the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,600 for a child under 6, and $3,000 per older child. The senator said there is too much child poverty in America, and the expanded tax credits will provide much-needed relief to struggling families.” [WMBD, 3/29/21]

Chronicle Illinois: State to get $124 million in federal funds to expand vaccine efforts. “Vice President Kamala Harris, along with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, also visited Chicago on Tuesday to learn more about the state’s efforts to prioritize equity in vaccine access for all state residents. ‘This is a critical moment in this pandemic,’ Durbin said Tuesday at a media availability event in Chicago. ‘But we can’t break the back of this pandemic unless we push for more vaccinations.’” [Chronicle Illinois, 4/6/21]

MARYLAND

WBAL TV 11: American Rescue Plan funding to help Maryland child-care providers: “Maryland's Congressional delegation has a message for child-care providers hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic: Help is on the way. Since March, the child-care sector has lost one in six jobs. The recently passed American Rescue Plan will provide $504 million to keep Maryland's early child-care centers open, and $11 million will go directly to head start centers across the state. ‘Those early years, those formative years are what sets a trajectory for a child, and it is essential that we provide our kids with all the help necessary at the earliest ages possible,’ U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen said.” [WBAL TV 11, 4/9/21]

MASSACHUSETTS

MassLive: Warren tours Berkshire COVID vaccination site and Food Bank. “Senator Elizabeth Warren toured two Western Mass. facilities connected with fighting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, both the disease itself and the economic effects it has created. Warren met with the management and medical staff at the Berkshire Community College vaccination site in Pittsfield, one of three sites operated by the Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative.” [Mass Live, 3/27/21]

WATD 95.9 News & Talk Radio: U.S. Senator Ed Markey Tours Brockton Shaw’s Center Vaccination Site. “U.S. Senator Ed Markey toured a COVID-19 vaccination site set up by the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center. […] Markey says as part of the $1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan, $7.4 million dollars will go to help expand the vaccination efforts at the Neighborhood Health Center.” [WATD, 3/31/21]

MICHIGAN

WDET: Stabenow Highlights Big Investment in Mental Health Coming to Michigan. “The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is chock-full of policy aimed at helping the country’s most economically vulnerable. Much has been made about the bill’s direct cash payments and the child tax credit expansion. But the legislation also made a substantial investment in behavioral mental health services.” [Detroit Today, 4/1/21]

WNEM 5: Congressmen tour local mass vaccination sites as Genesee County works to increase vaccination rate. “Two Michigan congressmen paid a visit to mid-Michigan Monday, taking a tour of different vaccination clinics as the state continues ramping up vaccination efforts. Representative Dan Kildee and Senator Gary Peters were both big supporters of the American Rescue Plan, which pumped needed federal dollars into state-led vaccination efforts. Two different congressmen. Two different flint vaccine sites. One common goal today: Getting shots in arms as soon as possible.” [WNEM 5, 3/29/21]

MINNESOTA

CCX Media: U.S. Sen. Klobuchar Visits Brooklyn Center Vaccine Site. “U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar visited the North Memorial Health vaccination site in Brooklyn Center Monday. The vaccination site is the former Target off Shingle Creek Pkwy. During Klobuchar’s visit, she focused on funding for vaccine distribution. Klobuchar helped secure vaccine distribution funding in the American Rescue Plan Act. President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion relief bill into law last month. The measure includes expanding testing as well as establishing community and mobile vaccination units, particularly in undeserved [sic] areas.” [CCX Media, 4/5/21]

KTTC: Sen. Smith tours Rochester organizations. “Minnesota DFL Sen. Tina Smith visited Rochester Thursday. She toured several local organizations, hearing how they've been impacted by the pandemic, how federal funding has helped and where they hope to go next. Smith met with officials from Channel One Food Bank and Rochester Community Health Clinic.” [KTTC, 4/8/21]

MONTANA

Daily Inter Lake: Tester touts COVID relief during Kalispell visit. “U.S. Sen. Jon Tester visited Kalispell on Tuesday to tout the benefits of the third COVID-19 relief package that President Joe Biden signed this month. In the taproom of the Kalispell Brewing Co. on Main Street, Tester, a Democrat, spoke alongside brewery owner Maggie Doherty, Flathead County Health Officer Joe Russell and Kalispell Public Schools Superintendent Micah Hill, extolling various features of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which passed the evenly divided Senate on a party-line vote.” [Daily Inter Lake, 3/30/21]

NEVADA

AP: Cortez Masto touts relief law’s help for health insurance. “U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada on Monday encouraged people to shop on the state’s health insurance exchange to determine if they can get cheaper coverage thanks to the new federal coronavirus relief law. The Democratic senator held a news conference in Henderson to promote the benefits of the relief law signed by President Joe Biden last month. Cortez Masto said the law increases subsidies for 60,000 Nevada residents who are already receiving them to help pay for their health insurance on the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.” [AP, 4/5/21] 

Las Vegas Review Journal: Nevada senators tour Cashman vaccination site. “Nevada Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen on Thursday toured the Cashman Center COVID-19 vaccination facility, where they met with local public health officials, National Guardsmen and a few Nevadans who had just received their second shots. ‘This is a perfect example of collaboration,’ Cortez Masto said at a news conference after the tour, noting a handful of different agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Southern Nevada Health District and Clark County were involved.” [Las Vegas Review Journal, 4/2/21]

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Conway Sun: Shaheen visits Berlin, reports on American Rescue Plan benefits. “U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) met with Tri-County Community Action Program officials and Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier Thursday to describe how the newly passed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan can help address some of the hardships caused by the year-long pandemic.” [Conway Daily Sun, 4/5/21]

Nashua Telegraph: Senator Hassan Discusses Vaccination Efforts at Amoskeag Health. “Yesterday, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan discussed the American Rescue Plan’s major investments in supporting COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment efforts during a tour of Amoskeag Health in Manchester. Senator Hassan and the NH Congressional Delegation announced last week that Amoskeag Health will receive $3.2 million through the American Rescue Plan.” [Nashua Telegraph, 3/31/21]

NEW JERSEY

The Jersey Journal: Hudson County to get $9.8 million, Jersey City $7.7 million to aid homelessness services. “Hudson County will receive significant monetary aid to help residents experiencing or at risk of homelessness due to the ongoing pandemic, thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker announced today.” [Jersey Journal, 4/8/21]

NEW MEXICO

Los Alamos Daily Post: Heinrich Thanks New Mexico National Guard And Health Care Workers For Ramping Up Vaccine Distributions. “U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) visited Tuesday with the New Mexico National Guard and health care workers assisting with efforts to help more New Mexicans receive the COVID-19 vaccine. ‘We secured provisions in the American Rescue Plan to ramp up vaccine distribution and help communities and businesses recover. They mark the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ Heinrich said.” [Lost Alamos Daily Post, 4/7/21]

KOB4: Local leaders discuss distribution plan for the American Rescue Plan. “Local leaders sat down virtually with a member of the Biden Administration Tuesday to discuss New Mexico’s strategy for distributing money from the American Rescue Plan.”  [KOB4, 4/6/21]

NEW YORK

WXXI: Schumer visits Rochester touting billions in COVID-19 aid pouring into New York State. “U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer stopped by Bug Jar on Monroe Avenue Wednesday to talk about the federal government’s efforts to save performance spaces, specifically the $15 billion Save our Stages grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The grants come from the latest COVID-19 stimulus package, also known as the American Rescue Plan.  During a news conference with Bug Jar owner Aaron Gibalski, Schumer said the SBA will start accepting applications from theaters, concert halls, and other venues. He also pointed out that the federal government released a new application for paycheck protection loans.” [WXXI, 3/31/21]

WIVB: Sen. Schumer and Gillibrand outline where millions in community healthcare relief funding for WNY will go. “Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are outlining how millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan will support local community health centers. About $11 million is going to Buffalo, with funds allocated for the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Jericho Road Ministries and Neighborhood Health Center of Western New York.” [WIVB, 3/27/21]

OHIO

BCTGM: Local 57 Member Celebrates American Rescue Plan with Senator Sherrod Brown. “On March 26, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) hosted a virtual celebration with Ohio workers and retirees to discuss the importance of securing the multiemployer pension measure in the American Rescue Plan. BCTGM Local 57 member Kate Hughes, a worker at Bimbo Bakeries in Zanesville, Ohio was invited to participate in the event called, ‘The Virtual Dignity of Work Celebration: Keeping Our Pension Promises.’ Senator Brown called on each worker to discuss why the pension measure was important. ‘I’m raising a family and to know that I have this security and that in the future, this is something I can rely on, it’s an amazing thing,’ said Hughes.” [BCTGM, 4/1/21]

OREGON

Malhuer Enterprise: U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley talks Covid relief, answers questions during Malheur County town hall. “Funds from the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill recently approved by the Congress will trickle down to small towns in places like Malheur County, help get small business back on track and students back into classrooms, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley said Wednesday.” [Malhuer Enterprise, 3/31/21]

Portland Tribune: Sen. Ron Wyden hosts Clackamas County town hall. “U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden met virtually with Clackamas County constituents Monday, March 29, and spoke on a wide range of topics important to Oregonians. In the hour-long public forum hosted by nonprofit The People's Town Hall, Wyden touched on his work as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, the impact of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act and current efforts to provide opportunities for bipartisan lawmaking in a time when partisan divide seems to be increasing.” [Portland Tribune, 3/29/21]

PENNSYLVANIA

Erie News Now: Casey announces billions for home and community-based services in COVID relief package. “Seniors and disabled Americans will receive billions of dollars in funding as part of the American Rescue Plan, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) announced Thursday. Casey met virtually with Erie area advocates and leaders Thursday morning. In all, $12.7 billion is included for home and community based services. Of that total, $730 million will be allocated to Pennsylvania.” [Erie News Now, 4/1/21]

RHODE ISLAND

WJAR: Funds made available for Rhode Island performance venues. “Sen. Jack Reed announced Thursday how these venue can apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). Businesses like movie theatres, museums, and live music venues can apply for the SVOG ‘PPAC and other venues have had to cancel their shows, they've had to refund ticket money, and they've just been scrambling to stay afloat,’ said Reed.”  [WJAR, 4/8/21]

VERMONT

Vermont Business Magazine: Leahy secures $32 million to vaccinate Vermonters. “Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Thursday announced that Vermont has received an additional $32 million from the federal government to aid the state’s efforts to vaccinate against COVID-19. Leahy, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, also announced $8.5 billion in aid to rural health care providers included by the Senate in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which was signed into law by President Biden in March. Leahy announced the federal funding during a visit to the Morrisville vaccination site hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and to Copley Hospital.” [Vermont Business Magazine, 4/8/21]

WCAX: Sanders announces $33 million funding for community health centers. “Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, made the announcement on Thursday at the Riverside Community Health Center in Burlington. He says the money will allow the health centers to improve the quality of care being provided to 187,000 patients around the state. ‘What we are accomplishing here is a real achievement,’ Sanders said. ‘It’s a model to the country, and we can and will do even better.’” [WCAX, 4/2/20]

VIRGINIA

WAVY: Nansemond Indian Nation talks about impacts of COVID, plans for the future with Sen. Tim Kaine. “Members of the Nansemond Indian Nation discussed the long year they’ve had during the COVID-19 pandemic and plans for their future with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine on Monday. Kaine hosted a roundtable with several tribal members at Mattanock Town as the first part of a six-day tour across southern Virginia to discuss the American Rescue Plan with various communities.” [WAVY, 4/5/21]

The News Virginian: Sen. Mark Warner discusses workforce training, American Relief Plan during BRCC visit. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) visited Blue Ridge Community College on Tuesday afternoon for a roundtable discussion about the American Rescue Plan and the state of workforce training in the Shenandoah Valley. Higher education officials from BRCC, James Madison University, area superintendents and local manufacturing partners were present for the discussion. Warner discussed how the American Rescue Plan would benefit education in Virginia. It will provide $2.1 billion for K-12 schools in Virginia and an additional $846 million for colleges and universities in Virginia, he said.” [News Virginian, 4/6/21]

WASHINGTON

The Spokesman-Review: Spokane-area business owners discuss recovery with Murray. “Spokane-area business owners met with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in a virtual roundtable Tuesday to discuss concerns related to future economic recovery from the effects of the pandemic.” [Spokesman Review, 3/31/21]

The Spokesman-Review: Cantwell discusses COVID-19 relief program, concerns with live-venue operators. “U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell met with venue operators in the state via a virtual roundtable Thursday to discuss the grant application process and need for assistance. ‘You represent some of the hardest-hit industry sectors of our impacted economy because of the COVID pandemic and yet we weren’t able to get the specific help to you until December,’ the Washington Democrat told venue operators during the discussion. ‘And today is the magic day. Today is the day that portal goes live in which you can apply for those dollars to help your particular venue, your particular location.’” [The Spokesman-Review, 4/8/21]

WEST VIRGINIA

WV News: Sen. Joe Manchin discusses plans for COVID-19 relief funding during Morgantown visit. “U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., spoke with city and county officials Thursday about the COVID-19 relief funds being funneled to communities and counties through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Organized by Tom Bloom, Monongalia County commissioner, officials from Monongalia, Preston and Marion counties were present for the hour-long meeting with Manchin at the Monongalia County Courthouse.” [WV News, 4/8/21]

WISCONSIN

PBS Wisconsin: Research on Coronavirus Variants at UW Lab Buoyed by CDC Funding. “The kind of work being done at a Wisconsin lab could be a shot in the arm, so to speak in the fight against the shifting terrain of COVID-19. As the number of variant coronavirus cases increases, lawmakers are hopeful funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 can fuel research labs like the AIDS Vaccine Research Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The $1.75 billion package signed into law in March funds COVID-related research focused on detecting variants of the virus. On Monday, April 5, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, met with researchers on the UW-Madison campus before going on a tour of the facility where scientists have been building what could be described as a family tree of the coronavirus by studying COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee and elsewhere around southern Wisconsin.” [PBS Wisconsin, 4/6/21]

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