Senate to Begin Debate on Revised American Rescue Plan Today >>

March 4th, 2021

Senate to Begin Debate on Revised American Rescue Plan Today

As reported earlier this week, the House passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan early Saturday morning (February 27th). The bill is now under consideration in the U.S. Senate, where procedural rules required amendments to the House-passed bill, most notably the removal of a provision to gradually increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $15/hour over 4 years.

The Senate released the revised package and will begin debate today. While we continue to review the Senate package, we are glad to report that most of the tribal provisions included in the House-passed bill have been retained in the Senate bill.

Importantly, the package includes $20 billion to tribal governments through the renamed Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds (formerly the CARES Act – Coronavirus Relief Fund). Indian Tribes are defined as the governing body of a tribe included on the annually published pursuant to the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act. The “lost revenue” provision for “use of funds” has been revised but retained. In addition, the bill provides over $6B for the Indian Health Service and other health care activities. The bill also includes additional funding for Indian education, housing, food distribution, child care, and more.

The Senate is expected to complete debate on the bill this weekend. If the package makes it through the Senate, the revised bill will return to the House for final passage. Congressional Democrats are working to complete debate on the final bill by Sunday, March 14th when unemployment benefits begin to expire.

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