10 Surprises Hidden in Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package
The stimulus bill that passed in December was known as a Christmas Tree bill: one that has lots of unrelated items tacked on to it. That was especially appropriate given that it was passed during the Christmas season. The new American Rescue Plan passed the week before St. Patrick’s Day, so maybe it should be referred to as a Pot of Gold bill. In addition to stimulus payments and funding for vaccine distribution, there are funding provisions that benefit a wide swath of Americans in important ways, but ways that fall outside of the stimulus’ core purpose.
These provisions include:
- $19 million for Gaulladet University and affiliated schools to help them with expenses related to the pandemic. Gallaudet is based in Washington, D.C. and serves deaf students.
- $35 million for Howard University to help it meet expenses related to the pandemic. Howard is a historically Black college located in Washington, D.C.
- $135 million for the National Endowment of the Arts to support community organizations affected by the pandemic. The National Endowment for the Humanities will receive $135 million, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services will receive $200 million, for the same purpose.
- $1 billion for additional Head Start funding
- $198 million to fund rape crisis centers and help them transition to more virtual services
- $1.5 billion in block-grant funding for community mental health services, and $1.5 billion for community substance abuse treatment programs
- $4.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps people with their utility bills
- $650 million for cybersecurity risk mitigation
- $3 billion in economic assistance for aircraft manufacturers
- Accounting changes and financial assistance for multi-employer pension plans
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