The 1st District Congressman believes ARPA has failed to deliver in Mississippi and across the United States.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House Budget Committee held a hearing titled “How the American Rescue Plan Saved Lives and the U.S. Economy.”  Witnesses discussed how the federal legislation changed the course of the pandemic recovery and laid the foundation for historic growth; how states and localities have benefitted from the funding passed in ARPA; and how the anti-poverty components of the legislation helped children and families.

Witnesses included:

  • Dr. Julia Coronado, President and Founder, MacroPolicy Perspectives
  • Ms. Sharon Parrott, President, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Hon. Vince Williams, Mayor of Union City, Georgia and President, National League of Cities

During the hearing, U.S. Congressman Trent Kelly (R-MS 1) said that the American Rescue Plan has failed to deliver in Mississippi and across the United States.

Congressman Kelly said that since the American Rescue Plan passed, more people have died from COVID than before. He noted that the economy is not better today than it was in 2020, saying it is worse. 

“And my people in my district do not feel better off today. They do not feel like they’re safer because of this American Rescue Plan,” Kelly said.

Congressman Kelly continued by saying the benefits of ARPA have long passed, linking the act to the high inflation the nation is experiencing.

“Yes, the American Rescue plan had some benefits when it was first passed, but those benefits have long passed and the actions and policies that we have done since then have added to inflation,” the Mississippi Congressman added. “We can tout the work force, we can tout that unemployment is the lowest and all that… but here’s what I know: I can’t go to restaurants because they’re closed because they can’t find workers to do the job.”

Congressman Kelly said he thinks D.C. is tone deaf to the cries of the American people, especially those people in his district. 

The Mississippi Congressman noted the new Consumer Price Index (CPI) is up 8.6% since last year, a 40 year high; the record-high $5 gas prices, which happened “long before the Putin invasion”; high grocery prices and rising input prices; a workforce that is “still disengaged” and a border crisis that there has been “no attempt to solve.”

Kelly talked about the supply chain issues, including the most recent baby formula shortage which many Mississippi officials have tried to combat.

In May, Congressmen Michael Guest (R-MS 3) and Steven Palazzo (R-MS 4) joined more than 100 House Republicans in a letter to the Biden Administration demanding action on the ongoing baby formula shortage.

In response to the nationwide shortage of baby formula, Congressman Guest also launched a crowdsourced website, called Central MS Formula Finder, to pinpoint businesses that currently have baby-formula in their stock.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) helped to introduce the Fixing Our Regulatory Mayhem Upsetting Little Americans (FORMULA) Act, which is intended to fight the current domestic baby formula shortages and strengthen the supply chain so that Americans can feed their babies.

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) also joined 21 of her colleagues in demanding that the FDA explain why the Biden Administration did not act sooner to ensure the availability of formula when the decline began in mid-2021.

In a letter to FDA Administrator Robert Califf, M.D., the 22 Senators requested specific information regarding the agency’s inadequate investigation into Abbott Nutrition’s Michigan manufacturing facility and failure to mitigate the nationwide baby formula shortage.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves and 18 other Governors have joined together to urge the Biden Administration to find solutions to the baby formula shortage across the country.

“When parents can’t get formula to feed their babies, our supply chain is broken!” Reeves tweeted, adding, “I joined 18 fellow governors in calling on Biden to enact solutions to this crisis including suspending tariffs & trade restrictions on formula, updating label standards, & improving FDA procedures.”