Sen. Van Hollen says American Rescue Plan will have a big impact on Marylanders

MARYLAND – Thursday President Joe Biden officially signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. “The American Rescue Plan provides support in three big buckets. One, directly to individual and families, another to small businesses and others that have been hurting especially. But also, importantly, to local government,” said U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen.

The sweeping $1.9 trillion relief package covers pretty much anything and everything – from direct $1,400 dollar payments, to more funding for vaccine distribution, to extra support for local government. Wicomico County is set to receive $20 million, and the City of Salisbury will get $9.6 million. “Those funds are very flexible. One of the things that we learned from the CARES Act, which was passed more than a year ago, was that by providing more flexible funding, we can make sure that, whether it’s Salisbury or Wicomico County or another city or county, can use these funds to meet their specific needs,” said Sen. Van Hollen.

Another big part of the package is the expansion of the Child Tax Credit. The Child Tax Credit is an existing federal program that allows certain families with children to get a tax break. Sen. Van Hollen says under the Act, the Child Tax Credit will come in the form of payments totaling 3$3,000 per child over the age of six. Children six years old and under will get $3,600.

The payments are expected to benefit more than 85% of Maryland’s children. Sen. Van Hollen says right now, it’s not clear how often those payments will be distributed or how much each segment will be. “The child tax credit will be regular payments. We don’t know yet whether they’ll be monthly. But the idea is that they’re not just one time during the year,” said Sen. Van Hollen.

Senator Chris Van Hollen tells 47ABC it’s hard to know right now if the country will need another relief package. But he says he’s confident this one will cover some of the more immediate needs. “None of us know exactly when the pandemic will end. But I will say we hope this is the last emergency package. It’s a very big package. It’s necessary to meet the moment. But in addition to helping us defeat the pandemic, it’s designed to make sure that our economy can truly recover,” said Sen. Van Hollen.

Sen. Van Hollen adds those who filed their taxes electronically will likely be the first to get their direct payments. Meanwhile, those who filed by mail will get their paper checks later, but can opt in to get their direct payment electronically. For folks who did not file taxes last year, Sen. Van Hollen says they will have to go through a separate process with the IRS before they can get their payments. “Our economy has also taken a big hit, and this rescue package should help provide assistance to families who are struggling. But collectively it should also give our community, our state, and our country an economic boost,” said Sen. Van Hollen.

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