INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Top Democratic officeholders on Thursday said the American Rescue Plan Act helped Hoosiers address long-overlooked problems and contributed to the post-pandemic economy.
City-County Council member Kristin Jones said her district alone received more than $6 million in funding for stormwater infrastructure improvements, which she said would reduce costs associated with repairing flood damage.
She said the act helped fund broadband expansion and park repairs in her district as well.
“They delievered for Indiana. They delivered for Hoosier families the moment the American Rescue Plan became law,” Jones said.
March 10 marks one year since the American Rescue Plan passed Congress. Indiana received billions of dollars for projects ranging from public transit to affordable housing.
Congressman Andre Carson, D-Indiana, said about $750 million went to colleges and universities alone, with $157 million of that going to Ivy Tech. In Indianapolis, Mayor Joe Hogsett said the act included $150 million for violence reduction programs in the city.
He said that money went toward the new peacekeeper program, roughly three dozen IMPD civilians and about 100 new IMPD officer positions.
Republicans maintain the bill added to the national debt and contributed to inflation, which now is at at 40-year high.
Treasury Department data show the national debt has risen by about $2.3 trillion since President Joe Biden signed the plan into law, though the year prior added $4.5 trillion.
That year included the CARES Act and three rounds of stimulus checks.
In a November event sponsored by Yahoo Finance and the Bipartisan Policy Center, Congressional Budget Office Director Phillip Swagel said the act contributed indirectly to inflation by increasing resource demand, though he noted many other factors influence inflation.
Asked about those comments and the debt, Carson replied the bill was needed to address needs left unmet by the Trump Administration.
“We share that concern with Republicans but I don’t think that those fiscal concerns should supersede the need to address the needs of the people,” Carson said. “The wealthiest nation in recorded history should be able to take care of her citizens in a way that preserves dignity.”
The Indiana Republican Party did not return a request for comment.