LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles elected officials welcomed the passage of the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package today, which will provide the city with $1.35 billion amid a budget crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment in the life of our nation and our response to COVID-19 -- with historic investments in vaccine distribution, relief for working families, jobs for frontline workers, and support for children, students, parents, small businesses, and tenants,'' Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
“We fought long and hard for this landmark legislation, and thanks to leadership from President Biden and Congress, our state and local governments are set to receive critical aid in the months ahead. For Los Angeles, that translates into preserving vital services threatened by our pandemic-driven budget crisis; protecting jobs jeopardized by this public health emergency; and placing us on stronger financial footing to ensure equity in our vaccination efforts and lift up our most vulnerable neighbors.''
Controller Ron Galperin recommended the city use the funding to address the budget deficit. On March 1, Galperin reported that the city is facing a $550 million revenue shortfall. He noted that the city's revenue losses will likely continue for at least a few more months.
“This bill is monumentally important for the people of Los Angeles. Not only will Angelenos receive much-needed stimulus checks to help them get by, but the city will get at least $1.35 billion in relief funds, enabling us to transform a very dire financial situation into a much better one, maintain services and jumpstart our economy,'' Galperin said.
“It should be our priority to ensure that neighborhood services families rely on don't get cut or reduced, and to fully restore any that have suffered, especially in historically underserved communities. Funding should also be used to replenish the city's reserves, which have helped us get through the pandemic this past year. What remains should fund one-time programs and projects that create good local jobs in disadvantaged communities, enhance equity and hasten economic recovery citywide,'' Galperin added.
The American Rescue Plan passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday and will next go to President Joe Biden for his signature.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, hailed the bill following the House's vote, tweeting: “$1,400 relief checks. Extended unemployment benefits. Funding to increase vaccinations, keep people in their homes, reopen schools, and cut child poverty in half. Help is on the way.''
Prior to the vote, Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-San Pedro, tweeted: “Ready to vote `yes' on the American Rescue Plan and send relief to those in my district struggling from the impacts of the pandemic. The historic legislation meets the moment. It will save lives, jobs, help re-open schools safely and more.''
The White House tweeted that the plan is “a historic legislative package that will turn the page on this pandemic, deliver direct relief to Americans, and jumpstart our economy.''
The bill passed the U.S. House by a vote of 220 to 211 after the Senate approved it on Saturday.
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