Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) released the following statement on President Biden’s signing of the American Rescue Plan into law.
“One year ago, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and called for immediate action to address this global health emergency. At the time, the Trump administration willfully downplayed the ravaging impact that this virus would have on our communities – and it has cost us greatly. Since then, tragically, we’ve lost over 500,000 lives and the impact has been devastating to millions of Americans, small businesses across the country, the education of our children, and more.
“When President Biden took office less than two months ago, the times demanded we take bold and immediate action to curb the virus and get our economy into recovery. Over the course of 50 days, the Biden-Harris administration has taken dramatic steps toward crushing this pandemic including developing a comprehensive national strategy to respond to the pandemic and administering over two million COVID-19 vaccines a day.
“At the inauguration, President Biden promised that help was on the way. Today, he is making good on this promise by enacting the American Rescue Plan. This landmark, life-saving legislation will provide urgently-needed resources to defeat the virus, put vaccines in people’s arms, money into families’ pockets, children safely back into classrooms, and people back to work.
“Across Ventura County and throughout the country, we are continuing to feel the overwhelming impact of the ongoing COVD-19 pandemic, and we will have more work to do in the coming months and years. But today, I can confidently say that we are finally turning the corner.”
The American Rescue Plan will:
- Put Vaccines in Arms: The plan will mount a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide and addressing disparities facing communities of color. It will also take complementary measures to combat the virus, including scaling up testing and tracing, addressing shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, investing in high-quality treatments and addressing health care disparities.
- Put Money in People’s Pockets: The plan finishes the job on the President’s promise to provide $2,000 in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December. The plan will also provide direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, expand access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care, extend unemployment insurance so that 18 million American workers can pay their bills and support 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and more than 17 million low-wage workers through an improved Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Put Children Safely Back in School: The plan delivers $170 billion for education and $45 billion for child care providers. This includes a $130 billion investment in K-12 school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom, with funds that can be used for such things as reducing class sizes, modifying spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improving ventilation, implementing more mitigation measures, providing personal protective equipment and providing summer school or other support for students that help make up lost learning time this year. The plan also provides more than $40 billion for higher education.
- Put People Back in Jobs: The plan will provide crucial support for the hardest-hit small businesses, especially those owned by entrepreneurs from racial and ethnic backgrounds that have experienced systemic discrimination, with EIDL grants, expanded PPP eligibility and more. The plan also provides crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.
A summary of the bill is available here and the text is available here.
Issues: 117th Congress