Bay Area Lawmakers Laud Passage of Covid Relief Bill

Bay Area legislators celebrated Wednesday following Congress’ passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus pandemic relief and stimulus package.

The bill, known as ARPA, became the chief priority of Congress following the inauguration of President Joe Biden. It includes hundreds of billions of dollars in aid for state and local governments as well as funding for vaccine distribution, health care subsidies, unemployment benefits and more.

The bill also includes stimulus checks of up to $1,400 for taxpayers and up to $3,600 in child tax credits for parents. “Today is an historic day,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to Congressional Democrats. “It is a day of fulfillment as the Democratic House passes the Biden American Rescue Plan, joining in President Biden’s promise to the American people: help is on the way.”

Following the Senate’s approval on Saturday, the House voted 220-211 in a party-line vote, with just one Democrat dissenting, to send the bill to Biden’s desk.

Biden is expected to sign the bill later this week.

The bill is the third pandemic-related relief bill Congress has passed over the last year, totaling more than $4 trillion in federal spending.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) applauded the bill’s passage but argued it is but one of many steps toward the country recovering from the pandemic.

“For too long, the American people were told they had to navigate this crisis on their own, hospitals lacked PPE and ventilators to treat patients, and millions of families struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads,” she said.

“Today, we finally passed a relief plan that meets the scale of this crisis that will help save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across our country,” she said.

California will receive roughly $43 billion in funding from the bill, including $16 billion specifically for local governments.

According to U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Sonoma County will receive roughly $96 million while Marin County and its cities will receive just over $50 million.

“The American Rescue Plan is what we need to beat Covid, safely reopen schools, deliver relief, and ensure an equitable recovery for everyone,” Huffman said. “The vast majority of people in America support the president’s plan, and today House Democrats honored our promise to deliver relief for the people.”

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo), called the bill “transformative” and argued it is one of the most aggressive anti-poverty actions Congress has taken in more than 50 years.

“For the first time we are protecting our children while also addressing the crippling devastation that the Covid-19 pandemic has wrought on small businesses, schools, our health care industry, frontline workers, and hardworking Americans who are the backbone of our economy and country,” she said.

“For once, we’re putting our money where our mouth is.”


  1. Yeah. Exactly the sort of thing our local politicians like- taking money from working people and giving it to special interest groups.

  2. Of course they laud the bill.

    They join others in government and media, like John King on CNN, “This is FDR …”

    No doubt any of them in the Bay Area also are like the others in that they’re happier about the many non-COVID items in the bill that delight them than they are about the COVID items in the bill.

    None of the post-passage drivel and idiocy is surprising.

  3. Steven,
    I think at some level we’re in agreement.
    If you, as an individual or a business, are in a position that you can’t get by for a few months or a year if the s**t hits the fan, then it ought to be your top priority to build that reserve. Because otherwise you’re a child and you’re viewing your fellow self reliant citizens as your mommy and daddy.
    I’ve had it up to here with this bailout mentality which has become so entrenched that we now have millions of people- and businesses- demanding, not asking, but self righteously demanding charity. That’s what this “rescue package” is. It’s charity. And the people receiving it ought to at the very least show some gratitude.
    You mentioned the idea of government mandated pandemic insurance. As if that would have done any good if administered by our incompetent State. Did the mandated unemployment insurance work? No. If that State Unemployment Insurance program had been a private insurance company their officers would soon be standing trial for running a pyramid scheme. And why does the federal government have to supplement the State’s weekly benefits if it was such a wonderful program? I’ve talked to many people with friends or relatives who could have gone back to work but chose not to because they were raking in more with these charity checks. We’re just training millions of people to not bother earning a living and it’s going to have a lasting effect.
    You are critical, and rightly so, of companies always having that safety valve called bankruptcy which leave others, often taxpayers, holding the bag as is the case with the Fairmont hotel. Well this rescue package is no different. But compared to a structured bankruptcy settlement this relief package is infinitely less likely to have even a small percentage of it’s funds actually wind up in the hands of individuals who really need it and for whom it makes a crucial difference in their circumstances. Most money will go to those who could get by without it or those who are so hopelessly behind that it’s not enough.

  4. The “free money” will run out. What then?
    Eviction moratoriums will end. What then?
    Masses of illegal aliens flooding our cities.
    The alt-left masquerading as the Democratic Party is destroying our country.
    Meanwhile, the Dementia poster-boy in Chief, continues to “fool no one” as he stumbles and mumbles.
    Don’t forget to sign the, “Recall Newsom” petition.
    David S. Wall

  5. Bipartisan opposition to the bill. Passed with only Democrat support. More money in it that has nothing to do with relief than money that actually goes to people who need it. Bails out states that are all but formally bankrupt due to poor management.

  6. The sad truth:

    All of this money, and I mean all of it, will eventually land in the pockets of the rich. Either it be your landlord, Amazon, soft costs grift-artists harvesting “infrastructure” project dollars, monetizers of the poor. Very very few of these dollars will end up in the pockets of anyone poor or actually in need.

    And while this debt will never, ever be paid off, the interest will be serviced by the middle class on top of the “inflation tax” they pay on their savings and future income. The greatest deception being your attempts to tax the rich will just be funded by them raising prices on you.


    You people are so sad, so deluded, so miseducated… This is not winning, this is a painful existence slowly approaching death by starvation in which you have sold your soul to the man and your servitude is such they let you live long enough to extend the profit they extract from body.

    America is over, has been in California for a while, but the fact there are people who think this or any of these “relief” bills are a win in any way shape or form show how far you have fallen. Your cash is worthless, your labor power deteriorating by the day, your kids are being de-educated on purpose, housing costs will only go up, and now they want to grow meat in a “lab” to widen margins. You are a pathetic pile of self-selected serfs who have destroyed the greatest wealth creation machine and most free nation on earth. You have gutted the richest and broadest middle class ever through the combination of laziness and envy, and your kids deserve the hell on earth you have built for them.

    Congratulations, suckers!

  7. SJ Kulak: “You have gutted the richest and broadest middle class ever through the combination of laziness and envy…”

    Truest words ever published in SJI.

  8. For $1.9 trillion you Democrats could have had your high speed rail in California AND in 18 other states! But no. It’s better to flush the money down the toilet.

  9. Oh the unread ramblings of the broke, unemployed, prematenant non-rent payers!

    You want your sons to be that, a male in chromosome only who lives off the forced charity of other men? And other women?

    Is this the stock you are raising San Jose? When you see them take their first steps, do you hope that path leads to the government dole office so they can collect their “entitlements.” You are wiping behinds for that, you are driving your kids to violin practice for that?


    What is left of the Ohlone could eat these “men” of Silicon Valley like rice with one hand tied behind their back. Its just a matter of time before they do, and they won’t be as nice as the landlords are forced to be, that’s for sure.

    The bloodlines aren’t thin, they’re completely spent. And all the vacant words in the world can’t bring them back.

    Good luck ramblers.

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