WASHINGTON — This week, United States Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) led a letter to House and Senate leadership calling for better targeting of the funds allocated in the American Rescue Plan in order to maximize the effectiveness of the relief and make more efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Other Members of Congress who signed the letter include: Congressman Ed Case (HI-01), Congressman Scott H. Peters (CA-52), Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), and Congressman Dean Phillips (MN-03).
This letter comes after the Congresswoman voted to pass the American Rescue Plan on Saturday, with the recognition that there are places in the bill where there can be better targeting of funding to those in need. The Congresswoman also expressed a commitment to continue working to ensure that Congress is addressing the serious threat of COVID-19, while being a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars.
The Members wrote: “We support doing everything that is necessary to defeat the pandemic and provide economic support during this crisis. As such, we have voted to send the American Recovery Plan to the U.S. Senate […] That said, we also agree with the many experts who have said this bill could be better targeted to make sure that taxpayer dollars go where they are truly needed and will work the best.”
The letter specifically outlined four steps Congress could take, including:
- Making the unemployment extension go beyond the end of August and phase down as the country recovers. This funding should be tied to economic conditions to provide certainty to people who lose their jobs due to the pandemic, instead of creating a cliff again;
- Better targeting the direct payments to those most in need. Under the current proposal, a family of 4 making $175,000 who had not lost any income would receive $2,800;
- Doing state and local aid in phases and based on each state’s economic situation. This funding will be spent over time, and as time passes, needs may be different. Funding should be dynamic so it meets needs of the moment, and if not needed, repurposed towards areas of higher priority;
- Offsetting items that are not directly related to COVID assistance.
Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux lives with her family in Suwanee, Georgia and represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Carolyn is a strong advocate for affordable health care, an economic recovery that puts workers and small businesses first, and investing in her district’s world-class public education system and transportation infrastructure.
Georgia’s fast-changing 7th Congressional District includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and cities Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Sugar Hill, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Grayson, and Buford.