American Rescue Plan Act heads to the President’s desk
MARYLAND – Monday afternoon, U.S. Senators hosted a press conference to discuss the Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. After almost a year of feeling the impacts of COVID-19, some relief may finally be on the way. “We’re all looking forward to President Joe Biden signing this bill hopefully as early as Wednesday,” says U.S. Maryland Senator, Chris Van Hollen.
It is said to support Maryland universities, families, small businesses and the state’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Salisbury University stressed the need for local businesses, as students eventually head back to campus. “Salisbury University lives in Salisbury and we have to have those businesses when our students come back,” says the universities Vice President of Administration and Finance, Janet Wormack.
Although many businesses and institutions say they’re happy to receive the extra help if the President signs off on this, restaurants have other help in mind. “The fact is, getting relief and help from the government is not what we need, what we need is to be open,” says Fager’s Island owner, John Fager.
Fager says like many other restaurants, they have been ‘demonized’ by the pandemic. They say at this point, not being open to 100% capacity is just continuing to hurt businesses and restaurants all over. “I’m not demeaning the intent of the bill but there’s so many other things to filter through, and once again keep the money and let us open,” says Fager.
However, this plan goes beyond just helping restaurants and universities. It will provide relief for child care programs, vaccinations, testing, mental health, rental assistance and other programs. This plan is to be another step for the road to recovery. “But now we know we have a plan, we have vaccines and we have money, we have support from the federal and the state to help us implement all the plans that need to take place,” says Wormack.
Fager also says people should choose what they want to do when it comes to going out to eat. If there are vaccines and precautions put in place, he says then it’s not only time for monetary support, but a let up on strict guidelines as well.
Lawmakers say the bill could be signed by President Joe Biden as early as next week. If you want to see if this bill could affect you, just click here.