January 04, 2022

Duckworth Highlights 2021 Accomplishments in Year-End Round Up


[WASHINGTON, DC] – As the new year begins, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) highlighted several key accomplishments she secured over the last year:

“While 2021 was a challenging year for many Illinoisans and Americans across the nation, I’m so proud of what I was able to accomplish by working across the aisle to help cut costs for working families and create good-paying local jobs,” said Duckworth. “With the start of the new year, we have new opportunities to deliver on policies that will put money back in the pockets of working parents and support Americans across the country and I look forward to getting it done.”

Serving Illinoisans:

  • Assisted more than 3,300 Illinoisans with federal agencies
  • Recovered almost $1.5 million for Illinoisans in Social Security payments, Veterans’ benefits, tax refunds and more
  • Responded to more than 1.2 million emails and other messages

Key Legislative Accomplishments:

  1. Duckworth voted to pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), which put money in the pockets of working families, provided more resources for hard-hit small businesses, helped schools safely reopen, boosted funding for local municipalities to hire more first responders, extended Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and helped cut child poverty nearly in half. As part of the ARP, Duckworth authored provisions to send desperately needed emergency resources for State Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) programs to help older Americans and people with disabilities continue to receive critical healthcare and support services in their homes during a deadly pandemic that was particularly fatal for older Americans and the disability community living in congregate care settings.
  2. Duckworth’s bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA) was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and it will put Americans back to work fixing and upgrading our nation’s crumbling and dangerous water infrastructure. As a result of her leadership, Illinois—which contains the most lead service lines of any state in the nation—will be able to dramatically accelerate projects to remove dangerous lead pipes and protect countless children against permanent, irreversible brain damage from drinking lead-contaminated water. Duckworth’s DWWIA will also enable communities, such as Cahokia Heights in Illinois, to repair and modernize failing wastewater systems, better protect families from forever chemicals like PFAS and deliver environmental justice to communities in every corner of the state that have been ignored for too long—all while creating good-paying, local jobs.
  3. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill included a modified version of Duckworth’s All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP Act), which will help make public transit stations across the country accessible to all Americans and accelerate the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) implementation of its ASAP Strategic Plan and provide Illinoisans living with disabilities greater independence and access to employment.
  4. Duckworth secured multiple provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that will help Illinois rebuild roads and bridges, improve public transportation systems, expand broadband and support the expansion of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Several provisions of the law are already helping Illinois.
  5. The Protecting Moms Who Served Act—Duckworth’s bipartisan legislation—was signed into law and will help address our nation’s growing maternal mortality crisis by helping ensure the pregnancy complications of women Veterans are not overlooked or ignored.
  6. President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law, a bill that Duckworth helped introduce as an original cosponsor, to address the rise in hate crimes and violence against the AANHPI community.
  7. Duckworth-authored a provision included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was signed into law at the end of last year, will increase paid parental leave for servicemembers by allowing them to take up to a total of 12 weeks across the one year period following the birth of a child, the adoption of a child or placement of a minor child for foster care. Duckworth’s leadership led to the most significant enhancement of paid parental leave for members of the U.S. Armed Forces in our nation’s history.  
  8. Duckworth secured a provision in the NDAA that will establish a minimum inventory for the Air Force’s C-130 fleet, ensuring that the Air Force has sufficient C-130 capacity to carry out critical missions domestically as well as overseas, while also safeguarding the mission of Peoria’s 182nd Airlift Wing and protecting the jobs of 1,250 Airmen and approximately 370 full-time employees.
  9. Right now, far too many military families experience hunger because of unintended barriers that make them unable to access essential nutrition assistance programs. That’s one of the reasons why Duckworth worked to include a modified version of her bipartisan Military Hunger Prevention Act in the NDAA that will require DoD to create a basic needs allowance for servicemembers below 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to assist them with affording basic necessities, particularly food.
  10. In the NDAA, a Duckworth-authored bipartisan provision will create a non-partisan, independent commission to examine every aspect of the Afghanistan war and develop real reforms that ensure our nation not only learns the right lessons from our 20 years in Afghanistan, but also ensures the same mistakes are never made again.
  11. As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, Duckworth helped establish a permanent disability advocate seat on the Amtrak Board of Directors for an individual with a disability who has a demonstrated history or experience with accessibility, mobility and inclusive transportation in passenger rail or commuter rail.
  12. Duckworth’s bipartisan effort to provide access to cheaper capital for major U.S. airport projects by extending Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation (TIFIA) credit assistance to runway and terminal projects and stretching taxpayer dollars further to create more jobs and economic benefits was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.
  13. Duckworth successfully advocated for programs that will help decrease traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas, saving Americans time and money while also reducing air pollution. A report showed that last year, Chicago drivers lost 104 hours sitting in traffic, more than anywhere else in the country.
  14. Duckworth secured a provision in the NDAA that would make sure each service is paying its Guard and Reserve members the same monthly incentive pay for maintaining critical skills and taking on hazardous duty as those in the active component.