Davids Votes to Pass American Rescue Plan to Combat COVID-19, Get Relief to Kansans

March 10, 2021
Press Release
Bipartisan State and Local Leaders Issue Support for Transformational Relief Package

Today, Representative Sharice Davids voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, an urgently needed package that will combat the coronavirus and economic crisis and get relief to Kansans. The bill, which the Senate passed last week with minor changes, will now go to President Biden’s desk for his signature. 

“The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to destroy lives and livelihoods across the country. While not a perfect bill, the American Rescue Plan contains many of the measures I’ve pushed for to address this health and economic crisis – including ramping up vaccine and PPE production, putting money directly in the pockets of Kansans, and getting aid to our state and local governments to keep our teachers and firefighters on the payroll. I look forward to President Biden signing this bill into law so we can get much needed relief into the hands of the American people right away,” said Representative Sharice Davids. 

State and local leaders from both sides the aisle issued their support for the transformational relief package, which would provide Kansas with an estimated $1.58 billion to keep teachers, firefighters, and essential workers on the payroll and avoid painful cuts to the services Kansans depend on.  

The bill would also mount a national vaccination program, ramp up domestic production of PPE and medical supplies, provide support for workers and small businesses, help Kansas cover the cost of Medicaid expansion, and invest in school re-opening, among other measures. 

“This plan isn’t perfect, but it is another critical step toward Kansas’ economic recovery. It provides relief to Kansas families, schools and businesses. It will help us get vaccines into arms quicker. Lastly – it gives us more reasons to expand Medicaid and get 165,000 Kansans access to affordable health care – something we urgently need to do during a global pandemic,” said Governor Laura Kelly.   

“The passage of the American Rescue Plan Act will provide much-needed support to our states and cities, our small businesses and our citizens. This past year has been so difficult for so many, and the KC Chamber believes the relief included in this package, as well as the support from last year’s CARES Act, is critical for our region as we work towards a robust and inclusive recovery for all segments of our economy and citizenry,” said Joe Reardon, President & CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. 

"The American Rescue Plan will offer much needed relief for our residents still suffering the effects of the pandemic. Extended unemployment benefits and stimulus payments to those in need provide a lifeline to obtain or maintain services many of us may take for granted and help to offer support to our local civic organizations as they continue to provide unprecedented levels of support to our community," said Spring Hill Mayor Steven Ellis.

“The support from the American Rescue Plan for community health centers will help us expand and improve our response to COVID-19. We will be able to increase vaccination and testing efforts as well as improve our team’s ability to address the underlying health inequities we have seen exacerbated by this pandemic,” said Patrick Sallee, Vibrant Health CEO. 

“Our community has been disproportionately impacted by the health, economic, and human consequences of COVID-19. Additional federal assistance is critical, allowing us to continue fighting the pandemic and restoring basic services and programs affected by prolonged revenue losses and economic uncertainty,” said Mayor David Alvey of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS.

“Creating pathways to address the needs of students and Districts in a post pandemic world is critical work.  We appreciate that the bill provides dedicated dollars to local educational agencies to equitably address learning loss and to provide student support services in processing trauma.  The funding to update HVAC systems and to modify spaces to better allow social distancing is also vital as we move forward.  Both the National Association of School Boards and the National Education Association have lauded the bill for directing the needed aid to the public schools at the frontline of combating the pandemic, and we join with them in supporting the bill’s passage,” said Shawnee Mission School District School Board President Heather Ousley. 

“While we are sensitive to the budgetary impact of the American Rescue Plan, we also recognize this is an extraordinary time for our country. Business have been devastated by this pandemic. This legislation extends a lifeline to restaurants and other small businesses and will undoubtedly help them recover from the losses they and their employees have endured. The pandemic has also highlighted the need to have reliable access to broadband to support telemedicine, telecommuting and learning from home. We applaud Congress for recognizing that our technological infrastructure must be ready to support how we work, learn and receive services into the future,” Tracey Osborne Oltjen, Overland Park Chamber of Commerce President & CEO

“Successful passage of the American Rescue Plan and its direct support of Americans, including the new child tax benefits, is essential for the health and safety of many Overland Park families. Combine this relief with weekly increases of COVID-19 vaccine doses, we can expect to see our nation’s economy, and the Overland Park economy, regain its momentum and vigor,” said Overland Park City Councilmember Logan Heley.