Bennet Visits All 64 Counties in 364 Days to Inform COVID Relief Priorities, Deliver for Colorado

Senator Fought to Ensure State’s Needs Are Reflected in Biden American Rescue Plan

Watch and Download a Recording of the Virtual Press Conference HERE

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced that he visited all 64 counties in 364 days and highlighted the Coloradans who helped shape his priorities for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) relief. Bennet efforts have ensured that the needs of the state are reflected in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which is moving through the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

“I spent the past year visiting all 64 counties in Colorado. Wherever I went––whether I was in an urban area, or a rural area, people told me they’re really struggling. So I did everything I could to carry their voices to Washington to shape the relief efforts coming out of Congress,” said Bennet. “We’ve fought for the Health Force to bolster our public health infrastructure. We’ve fought for expanding the Child Tax Credit to cut childhood poverty by almost 50 percent. We’ve fought to strengthen unemployment benefits to reflect the tough economic conditions in the country. We’ve pushed to expand SNAP benefits so more families have access to nutritious food. We worked to provide fiscal relief for state and local governments. Finally, we’ve supported more targeted relief for the hardest-hit small businesses and added more flexibility to the PPP program. I’m grateful that virtually all of these priorities are in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which reflects the needs of Coloradans, and I look forward to passing it in the Senate soon.” 

“More Coloradans are facing hunger and visiting food pantries than ever before, many for the first time. We're grateful for Senator Bennet’s continued support of the Food Bank of the Rockies and his leadership on addressing food insecurity for households in Colorado and across the country. It's important we all work together to ensure Americans are nourished,” said Erin Pulling, CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies.

“Federal stimulus funds have created a lifeline for our students and have helped Fort Lewis College keep our campus safe,” said Tom Stritikus, president of Fort Lewis College. “We thank Senator Bennet and state officials for their continued leadership on COVID relief. If we didn’t have access to this funding, it is likely we would have fallen short in meeting our students’ needs during this pandemic.”

“As a single mother, I’ve experienced firsthand how hard it is to find affordable child care in my community so that I can go to work and provide for my children. No parent should have to lie awake at night worrying about where their children will go to learn, play, and grow while they have to work. I’m grateful Senator Bennet introduced the American Family Act to help support families like mine by expanding the child tax credit, and deeply appreciate his willingness to hear directly from Colorado families stressed out about the lack of access to affordable child care and early childhood education,” said Pauline Araujo Agoitia, community activist, interpreter, station manager, 102.1 El Puente. 

“Last May, during the COVID-19 outbreaks in Center, our Promotores movement emerged out of necessity for equity in public health and love for community. If not us, who? If not now, when? We broke through language and cultural barriers, distributed masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies to families, and armed the LatinX community with vital information to help them protect themselves and their families from COVID-19,” said Luis Murillo, Skoglund Middle School Principal, Program Regional Organizer, Project Protect Promotora. “Last September, because of our success combatting the virus and meeting the need for public health access, we expanded into Los Promotores del Valle de San Luis and joined the statewide network of Promotores through Project Protect. I am incredibly proud of our work and hope Senator Bennet can learn from what we’ve created and help implement it at the federal level.” 

“Dostal Alley is a family-owned business in Central City that has proudly served our community for 60 years,” said CinDee Spellman, CFO, Dostal Alley and Ron Engels, Gilpin County Commissioner. “Initially, the casino and brew pub was deemed ineligible for PPP funds. With support from Senator Bennet, we were able to get the Small Business Administration to grant us access to a PPP loan. This funding was a lifeline that helped Dostal Alley provide for its employees and keep its doors open for business.”

Since February 2020, Bennet has delivered support for essential workers and health care providers, food and energy assistance, direct relief payments, and expanded unemployment benefits to Coloradans as part of the CARES Act and the December 2020 bipartisan relief package. He remains focused on expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC), strengthening our public health infrastructure by training and putting people to work in public health jobs, and securing direct support for individuals and families in Biden’s American Rescue Plan. 

Bennet Priorities include in the Biden American Rescue Plan 

Direct Support for Coloradans:

  • Expand the CTC, which is modeled after Bennet’s American Family Actand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
  • Extend unemployment benefits through September 2021, including a $400 additional weekly payment, and a commitment to work to make unemployment benefits tied to economic conditions.
  • Extend the eviction moratorium through September 2021 and provide $30 billion in additional rental assistance to help prevent evictions.
  • Extend the 15% SNAP increase through September 2021 and work with Congress to turn it into an automatic stabilizer, which is consistent with the Bennet-Neguse bill
  • Deliver Immediate Relief to Colorado Families with $1,400 checks per person, including all dependents. The payments phase-out starting at incomes of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples.

Public Health: 

Support for Communities Struggling in the Wake of COVID-19: Bennet has continually pushed for the Paycheck Protection Program, providing additional funds to state and local governments; and funding for the E-Rate program to equip students with devices and internet connectivity.

State/Local/Tribal Funding:

  • $350 billion for state, local, territorial
  • $20 billion for Tribal
  • $20 billion for public transit

Small Business Relief:

  • $15 billion in grants for the hardest-hit small businesses 
  • Additional $7.25 billion toward the PPP

Schools & Students: 

  • $7 billion for E-Rate to provide low-income schools and students with Wi-Fi enabled devices and hotspots.