Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, today applauded the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 through both chambers of Congress. The $1.9 trillion dollar relief package will deliver critical COVID relief and economic support to the American people.
This historic legislation includes much-needed financial and public health relief, including direct payments of $1,400 per person, extension and expansion of unemployment benefits for 11 million Americans who have lost their jobs, resources to help schools reopen safety, and funding to speed up vaccine distribution.
“Over half a million lives have been lost and nearly 400,000 businesses have closed since the start of this crisis,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “For too long, the American people were told they had to navigate this crisis on their own, hospitals lacked PPE and ventilators to treat patients, and millions of families struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. Today, we finally passed a relief plan that meets the scale of this crisis that will help save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across our country.
“This bill provides funding for childcare to support working families, gives schools the resources they need to open safely, expands SNAP benefits to combat the growing hunger crisis, puts money directly in people’s pockets, and funds state and local governments that have lost tens of thousands of workers and provides the resources to rehire essential personnel. This legislation also provides funding to hire more vaccinators and set up more vaccination sites to help our communities defeat this virus. Overall, this $1.9 trillion relief package is going to help our country not only recover from this unprecedented public health and economic crisis, but build back better.
“The American Rescue Plan also takes historic action to expand the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child, which will put us on the path to cutting child poverty in half. It is unacceptable that in the richest country in the world, millions of children continue to go to bed hungry and are deprived of basic resources they need to succeed. As Co-Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, I applaud this long overdue effort to dismantle the systemic inequality that keeps kids and families at the bottom of the economic ladder.
“Finally, the ARP invests $11 billion to fight COVID-19 globally. As Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, I’m pleased we were able to include support for critical programs and initiatives that will help save lives around the world and keep us safe here at home.
“We have a long way to go to ensure the safety and well-being of our communities, but this historic legislation is a strong step. I will continue fighting for underserved communities and communities of color that have been hit the hardest by this pandemic. Finally, help is on the way for the millions struggling across our country, and we are one step closer to crushing this virus”
To read a full summary of the legislation, click here.
Watch Congresswoman Barbara Lee with members of the Oakland and East Bay Business Community talk about how the American Rescue Plan will help them:
Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking African American woman in the U.S. Congress.
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