On the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s classification of Covid-19 as a global pandemic, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, with all Republicans voting against it.
The pandemic has taken more than half a million American lives and left millions of others with life-long health conditions. It has also exposed deep flaws in our economy. The Biden-Harris administration and Democrats in Congress have executed a plan to quickly provide relief to the American people and help us turn the corner on this pandemic.
This plan is the most monumental relief package since the New Deal. It includes direct payments, tax cuts that help cut child poverty in half, extended unemployment insurance, and puts shots in arms.
The American Rescue Plan:
- Delivers $1,400 per person to millions of households struggling to get by. More than 1 in 3 adults, or nearly 83 million adults, are struggling to cover basic household needs. An average family of three has about $63,000 in annual expenses.
- Expands the very successful Child Tax Credit to include almost every child in America, and increases the benefit up to $3,600 per child. A minimum wage worker with a school-aged child will receive a total of $5,800 from the direct check and the child tax credit.
- Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in American history, to finally give benefits of up to $1,500 to childless workers. A minimum wage worker will receive a total of $2,300 from direct relief checks and the EITC.
- Protect Americans from COVID-19 by allocating $7.5 billion to track, administer, and distribute vaccines. Another $46 billion will support coronavirus testing, diagnosis, and tracing, and $2 billion will fund PPE and supplies.
- Extends an additional $300 per week in unemployment insurance for 18 million workers until September. In February 2021, 9.5 million jobs were missing from our economy. Over 25 million workers have lost their jobs, left the workforce, or experienced a reduction in hours or pay since the start of the pandemic. This support for unemployed workers is not taxed, so people will not be faced with surprise bills when they go to file their tax returns.
- Directs $15 billion in grants toward small businesses in low-income communities that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic.
- Subsidizes 100 percent of the cost of COBRA premiums for people who have lost their job, wages, or hours, meaning that those who have lost their jobs but want to remain on their employer-provided health insurance will have guaranteed access to health insurance in the middle of a pandemic. Nearly half of the population – 158 million people – receive health insurance coverage from their employer.
- Extends the federal eviction moratorium for another six months and offers $25 billion in emergency rental assistance. 1 in 5 renters, an estimated 13.5 million adults, have fallen behind on rent payments.
- Delivers $350 billion for state and local governments to safely reopen schools, expand vaccination and testing centers, and invest in broadband infrastructure. Over the last year, state and local governments have been on the front line of the pandemic response funding critical pandemic services like testing and vaccination centers. At the same time, state and local governments have had to cut 1.4 million jobs to help balance the budget with the new pandemic expenses. This funding for state and local governments would mean that states won’t be forced to lay off teachers, firefighters, sanitation workers, and more.
- Provides tax relief for student loan forgiveness for the next five years. Over 46 million Americans are burdened with student loan debt that totals over $1.5 trillion.
- Provides $50 million for the Disaster Relief Fund at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which can help pay for funeral assistance, as well as fund other vital needs like PPE, sanitizations of schools and public transit systems, and more.
…and much, much more.
The American Rescue Plan is extraordinarily popular, even across partisan lines. 72 percent of Americans support the $1.9 trillion package, including 53 percent of Republicans. Even with the bipartisan support from the American public, Congress remained sharply divided over this bill, but at the end of the day, the American Rescue Plan delivers for the American People. Thank you for delivering for us!