An Overview of the American Rescue Plan Act

Charlotte Holubar

The largest spending bill in the nation’s history, the American Rescue Plan (ARPA), was passed in March 2020. The plan is funded with $1.9 trillion, and acts as a COVID-19 rescue package that will help facilitate the recovery of the economy, as well as assist people in combating health effects from COVID-19.

The plan for the allotted money is to aid public health expenditures, address negative economic impacts regarding health emergencies, and help provide pay for front line and essential workers. Additionally, a portion of the funds were put forward for new infrastructure and climate assists. 

It was passed by the House of Representatives on Feb. 27, 2021, and soon later passed by the Senate on March 6. President Joseph Biden signed it into law on March 11. Each state received their first round of funding shortly thereafter. States then received their next rounds on a need basis. 

The American Rescue Plan contributes to the federal funding that is expected to provide roughly $118 billion in aid to Massachusetts in it’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The totaled funds are dispersed into a multitude of categories.

Some of the various examples are: $28 billion to support COVID-related Unemployment Insurance benefits, $2.9 billion for the Elementary High School Educations Relief, $7.8 billion Coronavirus Relief totaled, and $3.4 billion towards Massachusetts’ municipalities. The state then allocated amounts in relation to the population in each town. $2.2 million went to Williamstown, $878,786 to Lanesborough, and $66,656 to New Ashford. Each town statewide is able to individually assess the town or cities’ needs. Many focused on education and health needs. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread effects that can be relieved through this bill, both state-wide and federal. It has become increasingly important as the pandemic continues to remain informed and for the government to take action. This bill also supplies aid for mental health treatment for high school students that have been affected by the pandemic.

By working with the federal government and their relief plans, schools across the country will soon receive help through funds for education departments and mental health crises. The ARPA is one of the many nationwide steps to alleviate damage from the pandemic and regain economic and state strength.