Sinema Secures Needed Coronavirus Relief for Arizona

Mar 6, 2021

As part of a bipartisan Senate working group, Sinema shaped relief package that boosts vaccinations, supports employers, extends unemployment insurance, and strengthens schools, broadband access, and small cities and towns
Sinema also secured inclusion of her bipartisan Restaurant Rescue Plan, an expanded Employee Retention Tax Credit, and guardrails to ensure states distribute relief funds appropriately

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate has approved needed coronavirus relief legislation shaped by Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema. The legislation boosts vaccinations, supports employers, extends unemployment insurance, provides budget support for local essential services, and strengthens Arizona schools and broadband access.
As a member of the Senate’s bipartisan working group, Sinema helped secure critical priorities for Arizona in the bill, including direct relief for independent Arizona restaurants, support for smaller Arizona cities and towns and tribal communities across the state, direct assistance for Arizonans in need, an expanded Employee Retention Tax Credit, and crucial aid for rural Arizona hospitals and health providers.
“Today’s legislation provides Arizona with needed relief to address our ongoing public health crisis and begin a full economic recovery. By listening to Arizonans and working with colleagues in both parties, we expanded vaccinations and resources for doctors and nurses across the state, including in our rural communities. We provided crucial support for everyday families, employers, and schools—and budget support for struggling Arizona cities, towns, and tribal communities to retain first responders and essential services. And we extended unemployment insurance for Arizonans out of work, and direct aid for Arizona restaurants so they can keep their doors open. Once the bill is signed into law, I’ll continue working closely with Arizona communities to ensure these resources are distributed quickly and appropriately, and my team and I will be ready to assist Arizonans with accessing this new support.”
Following Sinema’s efforts, the Senate approved critical coronavirus relief including the following priorities Sinema championed for Arizona over the past several months:
Investments in Arizona health care, hospitals, and providers

  • Increased vaccine doses and vaccinators to ensure all eligible Arizonans can access the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Expanded testing, infection-tracking, and boosted production and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers and first responders
  • $8.5 billion for rural hospitals and health care providers, $7.6 billion for community health centers, and support for Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education to train providers
  • $14.5 billion for veterans’ health services to ensure veterans access to care and services during the pandemic
  • $6 billion for the Indian Health Service and tribal health services for vaccines, testing, PPE, andinfection-tracking to slow the spread of COVID-19

Resources for Arizona families, employers, and workers

  • Critical support to keep Arizona employers open—including Sinema’s Restaurant Rescue Plan to keep independent restaurants open, support for tourism and outdoor recreation businesses, and an expanded Employee Retention Tax Credit, championed by Sinema and a bipartisan group of Senators, to keep workers paid and connected to employment
  • Extended unemployment insurance for Arizonans out of work, direct economic relief up to $1,400 for everyday Arizonans, and increased support for Arizonans who need help affording health insurance or who have lost their jobs and employer-provided insurance
  • An $800 million fund to meet the unique needs of housing-insecure and homeless families and youth during the pandemic (modeled after bipartisan legislation Sinema co-led, the Emergency Family Stabilization Act)
  • One year Enhanced Child Tax Credits and Earned Income Tax Credits, in addition to $40 billion to support child care providers and families
  • More than $1.4 billion in funding to support older Arizonans at greater risk from COVID, their caregivers, and senior nutrition programs – other provisions will work to increase infection prevention measures in long-term care and our nursing homes to keep Arizona seniors safe
  • Crucial resources for Arizona schools to more safely return students to classrooms and enhanced broadband internet service for Arizona families and communities
  • Nearly $400 million to help get Arizona veterans back to work by providing up to 12 months of rapid retraining assistance and a housing allowance for veterans who are unemployed as a result of the pandemic and do not receive other veteran education benefits
  • Federal support to protect Arizona jobs in the aviation, transit, and aerospace sectors harmed by the pandemic induced economic crisis
  • Provides $4.5 billion to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that assists families facing financial strain with their energy costs during the pandemic

Budget support for communities and Tribal governments across Arizona

  • Budget support for struggling Arizona cities, towns, special districts, and tribal communities to retain police, firefighters, first responders, and other essential services
  • Guardrails on state funding to ensure state governments appropriately distribute coronavirus relief to communities in need, rather than backfilling state budgets or funding unrelated projects
  • $110 million for border communities and non-governmental organizations for coronavirus relief and health protections when assisting with the safe and orderly reception of migrant families and individuals during the pandemic based on Sinema’s bipartisan Southern Border Communities Reimbursement Act of 2021
  • $20 billion for Tribal governments to combat COVID-19 by increasing personal protective equipment, boosting access to clean water and electricity, and expanding internet access so that students can learn remotely and families can access telemedicine
  • $900 million for critical Bureau of Indian Affairs programs
  • More than $1.1 billion for Native education programs, including the Bureau of Indian Education schools, Tribal education agencies, and Tribal Colleges and Universities impacted by the pandemic