Press release: NDP Chair Kleeb and Ponca Chairman Larry Wright meet with Emhoff

NDP Chair Jane Kleeb and Ponca Chairman Larry Wright met with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff on Tuesday during his Omaha-area visit as part of the “Help Is Here Tour” to tout the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package recently signed by President Joe Biden.

Kleeb, Wright and Emhoff discussed boosting rural broadband, agriculture and clean energy and growing our cities under the relief package.

“Second Gentleman Emhoff deeply understands the work we have to do in our state to continue to get shots in arms and financial help to our families,” Kleeb said. “We discussed how the American Rescue Plan and efforts of the Biden and Harris Administration can help bring rural broadband, clean energy and good paying union jobs to our state. It was an honor to welcome Second Gentleman Emhoff to our state and personally thank the Administration for protecting our land and water with the rejection of the KXL pipeline.”

The Omaha World-Herald’s Henry Cordes is serving as the print pool outlet for today’s visit. He can be reached at

KMTV is doing pool for video. Footage can be obtained from Bob Jorgensen at


March 23, 2021

STOP ONE—Hospital Visit

Mr. Emhoff will visit Memorial Community Hospital Health System, a rural hospital located in Blair, Nebraska. He will thank frontline health workers, hear how the hospital staff have been responding to the needs of their community during the pandemic, and meet with health care professionals to discuss how the American Rescue Plan will lower health care costs and expand access to coverage for Americans. (Note: Today marks 11 years since the Affordable Care Act has been signed into law.)

Hospital Conversation Participants:

  •       Manny Banner, RN, President & CEO of Memorial Community Hospital and Health System
  •       Kelsey Mass, organizer of Testing and Vaccination Clinics
  •       Terrin Leehy, ER and Inpatient RN
  •       Keala Roy, RN, Emergency Room Manager, Emergency Preparedness

Additional Background

  • Memorial Community Hospital and Health System: MCHHS is a critical access hospital, meaning it is a hospital with a maximum of 25 beds located in a rural area over 35 miles from another hospital.


STOP TWO—Vaccination Site Visit

Following the hospital tour, Mr. Emhoff will tour a nearby vaccination site located at First Lutheran Church, also in Blaire, Nebraska. He will highlight how the American Rescue Plan will ramp up efforts to expand access to vaccines and curb the pandemic.


While on site, Mr. Emhoff will hear how the church has been supporting the community during the pandemic, through meal distributions and senior outreach efforts—as well as by hosting vaccination clinics at the church in partnership with Three Rivers Public Health Department. The church began hosting vaccination clinics on February 12, 2021, and has continued to host clinics two to three times a month.


Vaccination Site Conversation Participants:

  • Pastor Scott Frederickson, First Lutheran Church
  • Terri Uhing, Executive Director, Three Rivers Public Health Department

Additional Background

  • Three Rivers Public Health Department: Three rivers public health department is a public health department located in eastern Nebraska. They have been organizing vaccination site clinics at churches, college campuses, and local factories and plants.   

The Effect of the American Rescue Plan on Nebraska


Below are examples of how President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will provide support and relief to Nebraska’s families and communities.

  • Give working families $1,400 per-person checks. Economic impact payments of up to $1,400 per person (in addition to the $600 per person provided in December) for more than 1.2 million adults and over 520,000 children. This is 90% of all adults and 89% of all children in Nebraska.
  • Increase the Child Tax Credit. Additional relief of up to $1,600 per child through the Child Tax Credit to the families of 434,000 children in Nebraska.
  • Increase the Earned Income Tax Credit. Additional relief of up to nearly $1,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit to over 104,000 childless workers in Nebraska, including many in frontline jobs.
  • Provide resources to safely re-open schools. The American Rescue Plan will invest more than $564 million in relief for K-12 schools in Nebraska to safely re-open and get kids back in their classrooms.
  • Extend unemployment insurance benefits. Benefits will be expanded and extended until September 6, saving 11 million Americans from losing benefits and providing a $300 per week supplement.
  • Increase nutrition benefits. The American Rescue Plan will increase Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) benefits by 15% through September.
  • Give families an additional tax credit to help cut child care costs. Families will get a refundable tax credit for as much as half of their spending on child care for children under age 13, so that they can receive a total of up to $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for two or more children.
  • Expand health insurance access. The American Rescue Plan will lower marketplace health insurance premiums by $2,438 per month for a 60-year old couple in Nebraska earning $75,000 per year.
  • Deliver relief to Nebraska state and local governments. The American Rescue Plan will deliver $1.2 billion in state fiscal relief  and $685 million in local fiscal relief.
  • Support small business through the current crisis. In addition to putting over $50 billion into grants available for hard-hit small businesses, the American Rescue Plan will invest $10 billion in successful state, local, and tribal small business financing programs to help small businesses innovate, create and maintain jobs, and provide the essential goods and services that communities depend on.
  • Support for rural health care programs: The American Rescue Plan specifically supports rural health care programs in the wake of COVID-19, providing grants and support for rural hospitals to assist with vaccination administration, telehealth services, and rural workforce programs.

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