Without a single Republican vote, Democrats in the House and Senate passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act sending direct funding to working families, small businesses and state, tribal and local governments.
It also enacts long-held Democratic priorities including expanding federal tax credits for the poorest workers and families with children. “It will cut poverty in half according to the experts,” President Biden told the country during a televised address Thursday night.
The urgency of sending aid directly to New Mexicans wasn’t lost on most of our federal delegation working in DC.
If Twitter is any guide, New Mexico’s elected leaders were happy to have the help and quick to share the praise on everyone in DC who helped — that didn’t include Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, New Mexico’s lone Republican in Congress who voted against sending her constituents $1400 relief checks and helping local governments dig out of revenue holes while also struggling to provide basic services.
State, County and Local Governments Will Get Direct Aid
Most counties, cities, towns and villages were left out of federal COVID relief bills enacted under President Trump and Republican leadership in the Senate. Democrats, however, took a different approach.
Biden and Democrats in the Senate used a formula-based approach to allocate federal aid to states, counties, municipalities and tribal governments by population and need. Federal funding can also be used for “revenue replacement,” which is budget-speak for filling holes in the budget from lower tax revenue.
Under the Biden-Democrat formula, New Mexico governments will receive $2.4 billion in federal aid starting as soon as next week. The State will receive the largest share at $1.6 billion while 33 counties will split $407 million according to population. Cities will share about $200 million.
Tribal governments will also receive direct aid, though those numbers were not available by The Paper’s publication deadline. Importantly, however, Gov. Lujan Grisham and state legislators ensured that New Mexico was one of the only states to include tribal communities in allocations from state funds to local communities in previous rounds of federal relief funding that flowed through the state, according to the State’s Indian Affairs Department.
For local governments, the amounts allocated from the American Rescue Act range from $113 million for Albuquerque to $6,782 for the Village of Grenville (pop. 38) in Union County (it was featured on Saturday Night Live and holds an actual Guiness World Record. Look it up. #themoreyouknow)
So what will your county, city, town or village receive? Use our handy-dandy map to find out then call your county commissioner, mayor or village trustee to find out how they plan to use it.