Territories to benefit from unprecedented $2 trillion package

American Samoa will likely reap an unprecedented, historic amount of assistance from the federal government under a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package.

We go to our Washington DC correspondent Matt Kaye for details:

The assistance is massive, and its scope is sweeping, as the US Senate and House race to pass an historic pandemic rescue package, the likes of which, no one has ever seen in the history of the United States.

The $2 trillion package is larger than one entire year’s discretionary budget for the US, and it means historic help for American Samoa, maybe the kind of help Governor Lolo Maliga and Congresswoman Aumua Amata have pleaded for, for years.

Amata’s office says the bill “reinforces Medicaid provisions in the last emergency bill,”that today, is yielding another $58,550 grant for the local health department.  The new bipartisan deal includes $150-billion for hospitals, community health centers and nursing homes, and for needed masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment.”

Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs will receive &55-million to help the territories and Freely Associated States with coronavirus prevention and mitigation, including medical supplies, healthcare services and facilities.

The bill includes $200-million in SNAP and other food aid to the territories, to boost help during the COVID crisis.

There’s $45 billion in immediate disaster relief for territorial, state, local, and tribal governments to protect people and help them recover from the overwhelming effects of the virus.

Reimbursable activities may include medical response, personal protective equipment, National Guard deployment, coordination of logistics,safety measures, and community services.

On the economic side, the bill sends checks of $1200 to most individuals, and $500 to each child and extends emergency jobless benefits to 4-months at $600 a week.

Congresswoman Amata’s office is looking into whether this will also benefit nationals in American Samoa, not just Us citizens.

Her office says the territory will work with the Labor Department on a means, likely a block grant, so it’s people are not overlooked.

And the bill includes $300 million in help to fishermen, struggling from disappearing markets.

Commercial, charter, tribal and subsistence fishermen are all eligible for help.


6 Comments

  1. God First.

    Malo lava Pres. Trump & Congress.
    Malo fo’i Congresswoman Aumua Amata.
    Malo tele lave Honorable Gov. Lolo.
    Malo lava le tatalo ma le tapua’i Amerika Samoa.
    All the Praises & Glory to God for making all this possible.

    Reply
    1. Bev Kodak

      WE don’t have any cases here because we can’t do any tests. NBC did a news story yesterday about the only two places in the world with no testing capabilities are here and CNMI. I’m guessing we have undiagnosed cases here already, we just don’t have the test kits to confirm it. I pray that we never have any cases, ever. It’s just veryyyy unlikely.

      Reply
  2. Charles V Alailima

    Block grants go to ASG while the rest of the US citizens and taxpaying residents in the other States and Territories will get individual checks to them to support their families during these difficult times. I think our people would rather get checks to them directly rather than trusting ASG with a block of money especially right before an election.

    Reply
  3. Popomanoo

    I SECOND THAT, GIVING TO THIS CORRUPT GOVERNMENT?? DON’T THINK SO RATHER GET IT STRAIGHT VIA POST OFFICE???OH WELL, WE NEED TO TRUST THEM OR GOD KNOWS???O AI A TATOU TALITONU AI???UA LEAI NI ISI E TOE FAAMAONI I LENEI VAITAU UA OLA LAVA LE IGIKIA IA MO IA MA LONA AIGA!! UA LE TOE KEA I LE LAUTELE O TAGATA. TALOFAE IA TATOU POO AI A TATOU MAPU I AI???UA UMA ATU O TATOU TUA A NA ALOLOFA MONI MO LO TATOU ATUNUU MA ONA TAGATA!!!E MAFAUFAU MO LE LAUTELE O LE ATUNUU AE LEI FAIA NI FAAIUGA TETELE???AUE LE ATUAE ALOFA MAI I LO MATOU ATUNUU UA TUUA NAO TAGATA LE ALOLOFA MA LE LE MAGAFAGA I LE LUMANAI O O MATOU FANAU. IA E LAVEAI MAI TAMA A NEI A MATOU FANO!!!!@

    Reply
  4. Douglas Fenner

    Most of the people working in the cannery are neither US citizens nor nationals. The cannery MUST be CLOSED!!! 2000 people working shoulder to shoulder for full shifts every day is an open invitation to the virus to spread. Virus is probably already here. But if the canneries are all closed, they will be getting no paychecks. They surely have no savings, probably many have no bank account. The first paycheck missed and they will be hungry and soon desperate. We need a way to support them so we can close the cannery and protect everyone in the territory from getting this virus. If we don’t act, AS will become like New York, our hospital cannot cope with huge numbers of sick people.

    Reply

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