WASHINGTON – To mark the two-year anniversary of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), local government organizations and various interest groups released new analyses detailing the transformative impact ARP funds have had on communities across the nation, supporting both immediate pandemic recovery and long-term economic growth. These analyses join a new Department of the Treasury report and map released earlier this week with updated data demonstrating how the ARP catalyzed key investments helping families, businesses, and the nation’s economy that will extend well beyond the deployment of federal resources. These investments have also laid the foundation for other historic investments in our nation’s economic future, such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act.
See below for what they are saying.
United States Conference of Mayors: Mayors Celebrate Two Years of Progress Since Passage of ARPA (video)
“ARPA helped us to restore those critical services.” – Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver, CO
“We’ve used our American Rescue Plan to stabilize small businesses. This is what is helping to keep people employed.” – Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird, Lincoln, NE
“We are so grateful for the American Rescue Plan and the ability for us to move forward.” Mayor Paige Cognetti, Scranton, PA
National Association of Counties: Impact of county investments of ARPA resources (video)
“ARPA funds are an incredible opportunity for us to be able to invest in long-lasting strategic items that we know will help the resiliency of our community.” – Dena Diorio, County Manager, Mecklenburg County, NC
“Investing in water and sewer is about raising the quality of life. It’s about raising the bar for all citizens that are in your county.” – Hon. David Painter, Commissioner, Clermont County, OH
“Hennepin County has been investing our ARPA dollars into housing the unhoused and into expanding our infrastructure so that we can support more affordable housing and more emergency shelter options.” – Hon. Angela Conley, Commissioner, Hennepin County, MN
National League of Cities: Celebrating Two Years of the American Rescue Plan Act
“[T]here is a resounding consensus – this historic legislation has been a lifeline for cities, towns and villages who saw their revenues and budgets decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and all the challenges that came with it.
“In part, the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program was so successful because it pointed funds directly to local governments… Federal relief to local governments has proven to be the right policy at the right time and has made an enormous difference for municipalities and our entire nation.”
In addition, here is a link to a blog on NLC’s website authored by Treasury’s Chief Recovery Officer, Jacob Leibenluft, highlighting key investments that cities have made to expanding the nation’s housing supply using American Rescue Plan funds.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Robust COVID Relief Bolstered Economy and Reduced Hardship for Millions
“The large, broad, and innovative relief measures directly strengthened the recovery and reduced hardship, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and other independent analysts agree. In substantial part due to federal action."
“This robust policy response helped make the COVID recession the shortest on record and helped fuel an economic recovery that has brought the unemployment rate, which peaked at 14.8 percent in April 2020, down to below 4 percent since January 2022 and to a low of 3.4 percent in January 2023."
“Rather than rising as typically happens during recessions, one measure of annual poverty fell by 10 million people in 2020 — the largest amount on record in data back to 1967 — and fell again in 2021.”
Center for American Progress: Year 2 of the American Rescue Plan: Stories of Historic Recovery (testimonials)
“The ARP extended emergency relief, drastically cut unemployment and child poverty rates, and delivered millions of dollars to local governments to address unique needs in their communities. On the ARP’s second anniversary, Americans across the country share how this historic funding has helped them and their communities."
National Low Income Housing Coalition: NLIHC Statement on Notable Progress Two Years after Enactment of American Rescue Plan Act
“The unprecedented resources and protections enacted in the American Rescue Plan and other pandemic legislation kept millions of renters stably housed and saved lives,” stated Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The legislation has helped develop much needed housing infrastructure and moved our nation one step closer to ensuring that affordable, stable housing is universally available to all."
Benton Institute for Broadband & Society: 50 Ways the American Rescue Plan Act is Improving Internet Connectivity
“The American Rescue Plan also provided $10 billion to help states ensure that all communities have access to the high-quality modern infrastructure, including broadband, through the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund. Here's what the American Rescue Plan Act is doing to improve internet connectivity in your state.
“55,000 more Alabama homes and businesses will receive affordable, high-speed internet through the Capital Projects Fund…
“In Robust, Resilient, Broadband Infrastructure for Arizona we see how 128,000 more Arizona homes and businesses will receive affordable, high-speed internet through the Capital Projects Fund…
“Arkansas Uses Capital Projects Fund to Connect Rural Areas looks at how 35,000 more Arkansas homes and businesses will receive affordable, high-speed internet…”
Economic Policy Institute: Two years later, American Rescue Plan funds are still a transformative resource: State and local governments—particularly in the South—should invest unspent funds in workers, families, and communities
“During ARPA’s second year, many governments used SLFRF dollars to tackle deep inequities in their communities, not just to deal with the immediate challenges of the pandemic but to make transformative investments whose benefits will last long into the future.
“The opportunity to make transformative investments remains, and policymakers should seize the moment to rebuild the public sector and improve the lives of working families.”
Tax Policy Center: Viewing ARPA Aid for States and Localities Through a Great Recession Lens
“ARPA aid did help states and localities recover faster and leave them in a better position to face the long-term economic and fiscal challenges on the horizon.
“During the Great Recession, state and local employment initially increased but then significantly declined as federal aid ran out and governments cut budgets. It took a full 10 years for state and local government employment to return to its November 2007 levels. This not only harmed government services but contributed to the stubbornly slow national jobs recovery. While state and local employment has not yet returned to its February 2022 levels, it is on a far better trajectory, and numerous states – from Arkansas to Pennsylvania – are spending money on increased teacher pay and other incentives to compete for and hire government workers.”
Brookings: The American Rescue Plan, two years later: Analyzing local governments’ efforts at equitable, transformative change
“Local governments have launched thoughtful, innovative programs intended to address long-standing structural inequities—particularly around increasing the number of minority-owned small businesses and making workforce training more inclusive and accessible.”
NewDEAL: American Rescue Plan Two Years Later
“The impact is just beginning to be felt - The American Rescue Plan will continue to have a positive impact in the years to come.
“[O]ur economy, and especially state and local finances overall, are strong because the national response to the COVID crisis was strong.”