Congressman Nadler Applauds House Passage of American Rescue Plan
Washington, February 26, 2021
Washington, D.C. — Today, in advance of the House passage of the sweeping American Rescue Plan, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued the following statement:
"Later today, the House will pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. This life-saving bill will deliver $1.9 trillion in emergency assistance to fund a comprehensive COVID-19 pandemic response plan to beat the virus, deliver relief to working families, put people back to work, and support communities struggling with the economic fallout of the crisis.
"This historic crisis requires bold and urgent action that meets the enormous scale of the health and economic crises we face. Tens of millions of Americans have gotten sick, and this month, we passed the tragic milestone of having lost half a million lives to the virus. Meanwhile, working families are suffering—too many have fallen into poverty, face eviction, and are struggling to put food on the table. Small businesses—the backbone of our communities—are closing at unacceptable rates, and over 18 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits. Congress’s bipartisan action in December was a step in the right direction and stopped 12 million workers from losing their unemployment benefits. However, it was only a down payment. It fell far short of the resources needed to tackle the immediate crisis.
"The American Rescue Plan takes considerable measures to meet the extraordinary challenge of this crisis and defeat the pandemic. The plan includes over $7 billion to create a national vaccination program that will increase the supply of vaccines, speed up the distribution to the states and ensure that all New Yorkers have vaccines available where they live. The plan also includes over $47 billion to implement a nationwide testing and contact tracing strategy and improve the tracking of COVID-19 variants. It also provides funding to address the shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, invest in high-quality treatments, and address healthcare disparities. I am pleased that the plan also expands access to safe and reliable childcare and affordable health care and provides direct nutrition assistance and increased SNAP benefits to families struggling to get by.
"At a time when up to 40 million Americans cannot afford to pay rent and fear eviction, delivering survival checks, extending unemployment benefits, and expanding opportunities for workers through fair wages are more important than ever. While I will continue to call for survival checks to become recurring payments during the pandemic, I am pleased the plan will provide direct assistance to households across America by $1,400 per person, bringing the total (including the $600 down payment enacted in December) to $2,000 and fulfilling our promise to millions of Americans. After fighting for fair wages in New York and across the country for over 30 years, I am pleased that this plan will increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and give millions of frontline workers a raise. The American Rescue Plan will also extend and expand unemployment insurance through August 2021 so that workers can pay their bills and give families with children and childless workers a boost through enhanced tax credits.
"Safe and stable housing is critical to stopping the spread of the pandemic, yet as more people lose their jobs or take pay cuts, they are at greater risk of losing their homes. Assistance is urgently needed; currently, one in five renters and one in five homeowners are behind on their payments, and Americans owe more than $25 billion in rent payments. From the start of the pandemic, I have been fighting to ensure that the government steps in to help people stay in their homes and that any relief proposal includes renters. I am proud that the plan contains $25 billion in additional emergency rental assistance, $10 billion in homeowner assistance, and $5 billion for homelessness assistance grants for those experiencing or at-risk homelessness. The plan also extends all eviction and foreclosure moratoriums through September 31, 2021.
"For small businesses and non-profits struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic, this plan provides crucial support by authorizing a second Paycheck Protection Program Loan for the hardest-hit small businesses and non-profits, recapitalizing Economic Injury Disaster Loans, providing more funding for Save Our Stages, and including $25 billion in direct assistance to restaurants. The American Rescue Plan also supports our communities by providing urgently needed funding for state and local governments. The bill will provide $128 billion, of which New York will receive $9.5 billion, to help school districts safely reopen. The plan will provide over $12 billion to New York State and over $10 billion to New York City to respond to the pandemic and avoid massive cuts in the state and city budgets as a result of the economic downturn. This funding will ensure that public transit agencies like the MTA can continue operations and protect the jobs of millions of frontline workers. It will also allow state and local governments to continue benefits and programs on which our most vulnerable populations depend.
"I look forward to continuing to work to defeat this virus, get vaccines to the people, put dollars into families’ pockets, put people back to work, and return children safely to the classroom."
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