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Democrats Just Passed the Biggest Boost For Small Towns and Rural Communities We’ve Seen in Decades

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that all politicians are the same.

Today, Democrats passed one of the most significant pieces of legislation for working people in a generation. And the bill is also the biggest boost for small towns and rural communities we’ve seen in decades.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 invests $1.9 trillion in the American people and according to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center, low- and moderate-income households (those making $91,000 or less) will receive nearly 70 percent of the tax benefits from the legislation.

By contrast, nearly half of the Republican 2018 tax cuts went to households in the top 5 percent of the income distribution (who made about $308,000 that year).

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So what exactly is in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021? And how does it benefit small towns and rural communities?

The bill provides:

  • $1,400 checks for individuals making less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 per couple), along with $1,400 per child

  • Extended unemployment relief (set to expire March 14th) through September 6th, reauthorizing enhanced federal payments of $300 per week

  • 100% percent coverage for federal COBRA health insurance premiums for workers who lost their job through no fault of their own

  • $350 billion for state and local governments

  • $15 billion in new EIDL grants for small businesses

  • $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, including expanded eligibility

  • $25 billion for direct aid to restaurants

  • $750 million for states and communities impacted by job losses in the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries

  • $20 billion for vaccine research, manufacturing, and distribution

  • $30 billion for emergency rental assistance

  • $130 billion to state education departments

But the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 isn’t just a Covid Relief bill, it’s one of the most significant rural prosperity bills we’ve seen in years. 

Specifically, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 benefits small towns and rural communities by: 

As we say at RuralOrganizing.org, “It is what it is til it ain't anymore.” And it’s a new day in small towns and rural communities who have not only been hit hard by the pandemic but have struggled economically for years.

Too many rural people were left behind by the last economic recovery but with The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, it’s clear that at least Democrats have learned from the past.

Good policy is always good politics, and as we continue working to ensure that the implementation of this new legislation actually reaches working people in the most remote corners of the country, we will decisively show rural voters which elected officials truly have their backs.


 

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