**While writing the law, Shaheen authored a provision marking the biggest improvement to the Affordable Care Act in a decade**
**Shaheen helped secure significant federal aid for state & local governments facing severe budgetary shortfalls.**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. Shaheen supported and worked to secure numerous New Hampshire priorities in the law, including key provisions from her legislation that lowers costs and expands access to health care for millions of Americans – the biggest improvement to the Affordable Care Act since it became law over a decade ago.
“One year since the American Rescue Plan became the law of the land, we’re seeing a meaningful impact in our communities, from municipalities that now have access to essential resources to meet unique local needs to boosted funding for our health care providers who have been on the frontlines for two years. When Democrats wrote this bill, it was with the intention of not only helping Americans get through the pandemic, but providing them the resources they need to recover. And that is precisely what we’re seeing as people rebuild and we start to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror,” said Shaheen. “However, our work is not over. In addition to responding to the long-term impact of the pandemic – from ensuring access to vaccines, antiviral medication and providing economic security for heavily impacted industries – we need to see the State do its part and get funding already allocated out the door. We have millions of dollars at our disposal in New Hampshire for housing, child care and other hard-hit sectors that need assistance today. As Congress continues its work to provide states with the means necessary in the weeks and months ahead, Granite State leaders need to get the dollars they have out to residents now.”
Shaheen worked to include premium tax credit enhancement provisions from her legislation – the Improving Health Insurance Affordability Act – which expands coverage to millions Americans who are currently uninsured and reduces health care costs for millions of additional individuals who already have coverage, which is especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last year, the American Rescue Plan has delivered for New Hampshire in the following ways:
- Support for state and local governments and improved flexibility for uses of funding: Senator Shaheen helped lead negotiations in the Senate and with the Biden administration on measures related to assistance for state and local government funding. She also worked to ensure flexibility in this funding so states and municipalities can be effective and efficient with how dollars are spent to best respond to needs on the ground. Since the bill was signed into law, Shaheen’s office has held multiple virtual workshops for municipalities on how these funds can be used. According to data released by the NH Fiscal Policy Institute last month, an estimated $579.7 million in flexible federal funds were available for the State of New Hampshire to distribute to municipalities that can be used in a variety of ways, thanks to Shaheen’s efforts during negotiations.
- Increased federal dollars for the Provider Relief Fund: During negotiations with the Senate and White House, Shaheen helped steer efforts to increase funding for the Provider Relief Fund to ensure hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers on the frontlines have the support they need to keep their doors open and continue to care for Granite Staters and Americans across the country.
- Federal investments to help child care centers and combat the housing crisis: Senator Shaheen has been a tireless advocate for increased federal aid to help child care centers and organizations assisting our vulnerable communities, including the homeless. The ARP included significant resources to address those urgent needs. Shaheen worked to deliver $152 million in federal funds for rental assistance through the ARP. Shaheen also helped secure $50 million in federal mortgage assistance, which has not yet been distributed by the State. Similarly, Senator Shaheen helped deliver over $77 million in child care funding to the State of New Hampshire. Discretionary funds to bolster the child care workforce and stabilize the sector have not yet been distributed.
- Resources to support veterans impacted by the crisis: Senator Shaheen supported provisions in the legislation that provide resources for the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that veterans receive the benefits and care they deserve. The bill included $750 million for state veterans’ homes to keep residents safe during the pandemic.
Senator Shaheen is a member of the bipartisan group of lawmakers that steered negotiations around COVID-19 relief, as well as the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The COVID-19 relief bill signed into law in December 2020 contained Shaheen-negotiated legislation that provided urgently needed assistance to American students, families, businesses, workers and health care providers impacted by the public health and economic crises. Senator Shaheen had a similar leadership role as a negotiator for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in March 2019 and secured New Hampshire an initial $1.25 billion to assist with COVID-19 response efforts. Shaheen helped lead discussions on provisions in the CARES to assist small businesses and established the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, both of which have been lifelines for businesses throughout New Hampshire and the nation. Shaheen was also a lead negotiator of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law last year.