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Trump finally signs stimulus bill — What’s in it for American Samoa?

Cong. Uifaatali Amata
Source: Media release from Cong. Uifaatali Amata's office

Washington, D.C. – Monday, Congresswoman Uifaatali Amata highlighted the signing into law of several priorities that she has supported for American Samoa, and said she would welcome rapid congressional action to boost direct payments to $2,000, and is monitoring that effort. Under the new law, $600 will be sent out. 

President Trump signed the major year-end federal funding for 2021 to prevent a government shutdown, which included attached Covid relief and economic assistance legislation, while asking Congress to make changes and increase direct payments to $2,000. 

“The $600 direct payments are now law, but Congress will consider the $2,000 proposal as well,” Amata said. “This bill was a bipartisan and bicameral compromise, but it does include these important and specific needs for American Samoa, which was where I focused, along with vaccine distribution and support for our people serving in the Armed Forces.”

The bill affects American Samoa as follows: 


·       $600 for individuals and dependents with Congress to consider the proposal for $2,000.

·       A direct increase of $500,000 as she requested for ASG Operations, also restoring $3 million over the Interior Department plan. This ensures the fourth straight yearly increase for American Samoa at her request.

·       Renewal of the small business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with loan forgiveness simplification, and renewal of EIDL Advances. Together, these programs have put over $24 million into American Samoa’s small business economy in 2020. 

·       Funding for vaccine production, distribution and testing that will include the Territory.

·       A one-year extension of the American Samoa Economic Development Credit that preserves local cannery and fishing jobs;

·       A three percent pay raise for the U.S. military.

·       Nationwide funding for health, education, broadband, transportation and other services that will be distributed to states and territories according to federal formulas and the grant process. 

·       Preserves Amata co-led PPE Act measure to allow businesses to use their PPP money to cover expenses of providing personal protective equipment to their employees.