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Rio Grande Valley expected to receive millions from American Rescue Plan Act

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At separate press events, U.S Rep Henry Cuellar (D- Laredo) and U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D- McAllen) explained how much relief the state of Texas and the Valley could expect to see and where exactly it will be going.

Cuellar said Texas is expected to receive over $27 billion from the relief package for things like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and small businesses.

"It will go as direct payment assistance to mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities and other housing related costs," Cuellar said. 

Hidalgo County is set to receive nearly $213 million. The money is headed to the city of Mission, Palmhurst, Palmview, Penitas, Sullivan City and La Joya, among others. 

Starr County is getting over $12 million for places like Rio Grande City, La Grulla, Roma and Escobares. 

Gonzalez said that while plans continue to develop in Washington, they hope to have the funding available for the two counties and their respective cities in two weeks. 

"The rules are a little more [relaxed] than the CARES Act," Gonzalez said. "So there's going to be a lot more leeway for projects that otherwise wouldn't have qualified under the old bill."

Support for working families, extending the federal supplemental unemployment benefit of $300 per week, making the child tax credit fully refundable and increasing its size are just a handful of programs the plan is expected to cover. 

Once the counties receive the funding from Washington, both congressmen said it will be up to the municipalities to begin developing the process with businesses, families and residents. 

For more information on what the plan will cover, see more details about the American Rescue Plan.

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