Foster Statement on Final Passage of American Rescue Plan
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement after final House passage of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan, which now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law:
“We’ve delivered on our promise to provide additional relief to the American people and resources to help defeat this pandemic. The American Rescue Plan will deliver robust funding to support a national vaccination effort so that every person who wants a vaccine can get one. Additionally, this package gets money into the pockets of hard working Americans who have been struggling to make ends meet during this economic crisis, and it provides additional support for small businesses that have struggled to keep the doors open. Simply put, the American Rescue Plan delivers the resources and relief our communities need.”
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.
The American Rescue Plan is strongly supported by a large majority of the American people – including 60 percent of Republicans – bipartisan state and local leaders, national education groups, trade unions and advocacy organizations and hundreds of businesses and chambers of commerce. Economists agree that the American Rescue Plan’s targeted, evidence-based action is needed – both for struggling families and for the American economy. The legislation’s provisions will generate $1.25 for every $1 of spending, will cut child poverty in half and will lift nearly 12 million people out of poverty.
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