It’s More than Just a Stimulus Check. Where Does the Money Go?

2021, Latest News

By Joseph Smith

The down and dirty on how the American Rescue Plan is being allocated.

The recently passed American Rescue Plan was much more than just a stimulus check. So many provisions had a direct impact on our members, families, and communities. Take a moment to check out the ways this bill is helping Steelworkers just like you.

It’s Helping Veterans – The American Rescue Plan provides $386 million to create a rapid retraining program for veterans who are unemployed because of the pandemic.

It’s Helping Parents and Educators – The American Rescue Plan provides $130 billion to help schools. These funds address learning loss and also help soften the impact the past year had on some children.

It’s Keeping Essential Workers Safe – The American Rescue Plan grants $150 million for COVID-19 worker protections, with $75 million dedicated to OSHA enforcement in high-risk sectors, including those where USW members work. This has been a USW priority since the pandemic began.

It’s Protecting Our Pensions – The American Rescue Plan provides up to $86 billion for struggling multiemployer pension plans, which will directly protect the futures of 120,000 active USW members and retirees. It stabilizes the pension system that has 10 million union members, widows, and retirees.

It’s Helping to Move Past the Pandemic – The American Rescue Plan provides $48.3 billion for testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment (PPE), $7.5 billion for vaccine distribution, $5.2 billion for procurement of vaccines and supplies, $10 billion to expand domestic production of PPE, vaccines and medical supplies under the Defense Production Act.

It’s Helping People Catch Up – The American Rescue Plan provides for direct payments of up to $1,400 to Americans who need it the most. Low- and moderate-income households (those making $91,000 or less) will receive nearly 70 percent of the tax benefits from the measure. Families with children will get an average tax cut of more than $6,000 under the bill.

It’s Helping to Make Ends Meet – Direct payments help struggling families pay for what they need most right now, whether that’s food, housing, child care, car repairs or other emergency expenses.

It’s Safeguarding Healthcare for Workers Who Lost Their Jobs – The American Rescue Plan extends COBRA coverage for uninsured workers with a 100 percent subsidy; this is vital for many of our Steelworker siblings.

It’s Getting Us Back on Our Feet – The American Rescue Plan includes enhanced unemployment benefits through September, providing an additional $300 per week on top of all state unemployment benefits. Also included is a provision to waive taxes on the first $10,200 in unemployment income for those who made less than $150,000 in adjusted gross income in 2020. This means so much to the thousands of USW members who were laid off or lost their jobs during the pandemic.

It’s Keeping Us Working – The American Rescue Plan provides $350 billion in aid to state, local, tribal and territorial governments to help deal with the budgetary impact of the pandemic, including $195.3 billion for states and Washington, D.C.; $130.2 billion for local governments; $20 billion for tribal governments; and $4.5 billion for U.S. territories.

For more information on these provisions and more, go to

Click HERE for a printable version to distribute in your workplace.
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