By Georgia Congresswoman Nikema Williams
Last holiday season, our country and our state were in the midst of three once-in-a-generation crises — a deadly pandemic that has afflicted over 1.6 million Georgians’ health, worsening economic turmoil that left over 270,000 Georgians unemployed, and an increasingly partisan division in our politics that caused many of us to wonder if our democracy would make it out the other end. But it wasn’t fear that brought us a brighter day — it was hope.
Georgians had hope that President Biden and Vice President Harris would lead us toward a strong economic recovery and help bring us out of this pandemic. That’s why Georgia Democrats mobilized, organized, and turned voters out like never before to flip Georgia blue for the first time in two decades, sending Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House and Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock to the Senate. Now, after less than a year in office, Georgia families are seeing results as the Biden-Harris administration has tackled these crises and delivered historic relief for Georgia families.
Without a moment to lose, the Biden-Harris administration and Georgia Democrats got to work crafting and passing the American Rescue Plan — the legislative package that ramped up our nation’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs, put economic relief directly in Georgians’ bank accounts, cut taxes for middle-class families, and got our country back to work. Having grown up in poverty, I’m especially proud of the American Rescue Plan’s expansion of the Child Tax Credit, which experts say will lift about 171,000 Georgia children out of poverty. From slashing childhood poverty in half to literally saving lives with vaccines, it simply cannot be overstated how impactful President Biden’s American Rescue Plan has been on Georgians’ lives.
While every single Georgia Democrat supported this historic relief package, every single Georgia Republican opposed it. It is absolutely inexcusable that the GOP continues to go to bat for corporations and the ultra-wealthy but would leave Georgia’s middle-class families out to dry if they had their way.
Thanks to the President’s economic plan, unemployment is at a historic low in Georgia and across the country, and the U.S. economy has added a record-shattering nearly six million jobs since the Biden-Harris administration took office. This time last year, I heard from Georgians across the state who were at their wit’s end looking for work to keep the lights on and frightened to safely gather with their loved ones without risking contracting COVID-19 and becoming seriously ill. One year later, the Biden economy is booming, and vaccinated Georgians are able to come together with their families for the holidays more safely.
The American Rescue Plan was only the first step, however, in restoring and revitalizing our country. Despite the narrative from pundits in the media, the President believed both Democrats and Republicans could still come together and work towards a historic investment in America’s economy – and he was right. With his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, President Biden brought 19 Republican Senators and 13 House Republicans together with Democrats to deliver a pothole-filling, broadband-expanding, bridge-fixing, economy-boosting legislative package — all without raising taxes one penny for middle-class Georgians.
Georgia is already feeling the positive impacts of the infrastructure law — delivering immediate relief to stress on our supply chain at the Port of Savannah, laying the groundwork for a robust expansion of electric vehicle technology, and paving the way for thousands of good-paying jobs at a new automotive plant here in the Peach State. Yet again, Georgia Republicans shamefully refused to put their partisanship aside to support this historic legislation and do what’s best for our state.
As we look ahead to 2022, delivering for Georgians isn’t just a winning message for Democrats — it’s a better path forward for our state, plain and simple. The Biden-Harris administration has delivered an economic boom to Georgia that we’re feeling across the state, and they continue to help us fight back against this pandemic and ease financial pressures on our families. While Republicans struggle to explain why they oppose tax cuts and lower costs for the middle class, President Biden and Democrats are showing Georgia voters exactly why they went to the polls and flipped this state in 2020 and 2021. And next year, we’ll show them again.