D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton praised the U.S. Senate Saturday for including the District’s priorities in the COVID-19 relief bill it passed earlier in the day.
The $1.9 trillion bill has provisions which allocates funding to the District as a municipality, state and county and $755 million in retroactive CARES Act financial relief from last year, when the city was treated as a territory instead of a state in regard to fiscal relief. Congress routinely funds the District as if it is a state.
The legislation gives the District an estimated $2.2 billion in fiscal relief. The House, which also funded the District equitably in its coronavirus relief bill, is expected to pass the Senate version in the coming days.
“Last year at this time, D.C. endured a gut punch when, during the beginning of a catastrophic, unpredictable pandemic, Senate Republicans deliberately withheld funds from the District by categorizing it as a territory instead of a state for fiscal relief in the CARES Act,” Norton said. “Since March 27, 2020 when the CARES Act was enacted, over 40,000 D.C. residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and over 1,000 have died.
“The American Rescue Plan arms the District with the tools to fight the coronavirus,” she said. “It will save lives by increasing the breadth of D.C.’s coronavirus response efforts, it will save jobs by increasing the number of small businesses that will survive this pandemic, and it will provide much needed relief to D.C. families.”