Senate-Passed American Rescue Plan Act Provides D.C. Retroactive and Equal Funding

Mar 6, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that her District of Columbia priorities were included in the version of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that the Senate passed today. The $1.9 trillion bill includes provisions uniquely vital to the District, including state-, city-, and county-level fiscal relief for the District, since D.C. provides each level of service, and $755 million in retroactive CARES Act fiscal relief to fix D.C.’s treatment as a territory instead of a state for fiscal relief in the CARES Act, as D.C. is almost always treated as a state for federal funding purposes. The bill provides D.C. an estimated $2.2 billion in fiscal relief. The House is expected to pass the bill next week. 

“Last year at this time, D.C. endured a gut punch when, during the beginning of a catastrophic, unpredictable pandemic, Senate Republicans deliberately withheld funds from the District by categorizing it as a territory instead of a state for fiscal relief in the CARES Act,” Norton said. “Since March 27, 2021, when the CARES Act was enacted, over 40,000 D.C. residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and over 1,000 have died. The American Rescue Plan Act arms the District with the tools to fight the coronavirus. It will save lives by increasing the breadth of D.C.’s coronavirus response efforts, it will save jobs by increasing the number of small businesses that will survive this pandemic, and it will provide much-needed relief to D.C. families.” 

In addition to the D.C. provisions, the bill contains many Norton priorities, including direct payments of $1,400 per person, extended and increased supplemental unemployment benefits, and rental assistance.