$31 Billion


Mark Trahant
Indian Country Today

President Joe Biden signed into law Thursday the American Rescue Plan — a $1.9 trillion comprehensive initiative that will help families that have been hurt by the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The signing came hours before Biden delivers his first prime-time address since taking office. He’s aiming to steer the nation toward a hungered-for sentiment — hope — as he marks one year since the onset of the pandemic that has killed more than 529,000 Americans.

“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country,” Biden said as he signed the bill in the Oval Office.

The new law also represents the most significant investment in Indian Country ever, at least $31 billion directed at tribal governments and to help Indigenous families.

The administration plans to implement the legislation “swiftly” to get help to where it’s needed most. A memo to senior White House staff by Jen O’Malley Dillon, the deputy chief of staff, said the president will speak to the nation Thursday night about the 10 key aspects of the spending plan.

“We’re going to make sure the American people know tangibly what the Rescue Plan means for them. We’ll highlight how the President’s plan is going to deliver $5,600 in direct payments for a typical family of four making under $150,000. We’ll talk about how additional money for vaccinations means that the defeat of this virus is within our reach, and how we can halve child poverty with the expanded Child Tax Credit,” she wrote.

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