Rep. Chu Statement on American Rescue Plan
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion economic recovery package to support families, workers, businesses, and health care providers through the Coronavirus crisis. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), who helped craft this bill as a member of the House Small Business, Ways and Means, and Budget Committees, issued the following statement:
“Today’s vote is a promise kept to the American people to help them through this crisis. Through no fault of their own, families are struggling, businesses are closing, and health care providers are stretched thin. That is why we have made it a priority to pass the American Rescue Plan. And with broad bipartisan support from Republican mayors, business groups, and the American public, we cannot wait around for filibusters and other political games. The American people need the help provided in this bill, and they need it fast. That includes another round of survival checks to families, extended unemployment insurance, and more Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans targeted to underserved communities to ensure as many jobs as possible are still here when it is time to safely reopen the economy. Crucially, this bill also helps with distribution of vaccines and testing to help bring this pandemic to an end as quickly as possible. I’m proud of the work that went into this bill to meet the needs of the American people and help them weather this crisis.”
This comprehensive package includes $1.9 trillion in funds to address the pandemic, including:
Direct Relief to Struggling Families
- Providing Working Families an Additional Direct Payment of $1,400 Per Person – Bringing the Total Relief Payment to $2,000 Per Person:
- Making the Child Tax Credit Fully Refundable and Increasing Its Size to $3000 per child for 2021, a policy that would Cut the Child Poverty Rate in Half
- Providing An Additional $1 Billion for Emergency Assistance to Children and Families
- Creating A $1 Billion Pandemic Emergency Fund to be distributed to the states for providing emergency assistance to low-income families with children.
- Strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit for Childless Adults, for 2021: The bill raises the maximum Earned Income Tax Credit for childless adults from roughly $530 to close to $1,500,
- Invests nearly $40 billion in Child Care funding and makes a permanent increase to the Child Care Entitlement for States.
- Providing Over $20 Billion to Establish A National COVID-19 Vaccination Program and Improve the Administration and Distribution of Vaccinations
- Providing $51 Billion to Expand Testing, Contact Tracing, and Mitigation and Related Activities
- Expanding the subsidies in the ACA Marketplaces to cover more middle class families so no one will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a silver plan in the ACA marketplaces.
- Providing ACA Subsidies for Those on Unemployment
- Providing an 85% subsidy for individuals who lose their job and choose to use COBRA to continue their existing employer-sponsored health coverage through September 30, 2021
- $13 billion for VA to provide health care services and other related supports – including suicide prevention, Women’s health services, telehealth expansion, medical facility improvements – to eligible veterans and allows up to $4 billion in spending for the Veterans Community Care Program.
- $7.6 billion in funding to support COVID-19 response at Community Health Centers.
- $4 Billion for Expanding Behavioral and Mental Health Services
- Providing Nearly $130 billion to Help K-12 Schools Re-Open Safely
- $40 billion for institutions of higher education to help make up for lost revenue due to the pandemic.
Helping Workers Weather the Pandemic
- Extending and Increasing the Federal Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (FPUC), raising the amount to $400/week
- Extending both the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program through August 29.
- Gradually Raises the Federal Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour By 2025 – the First Increase in More Than a Decade:
- Extending Employee Retention Credit: The bill extends through December 31, 2021, the Employee Retention Credit, created by the CARES Act, which expired on December 31, 2020.
- Extending Payroll Tax Credits for Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave: The bill extends, from March 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021,
- $150 million for the Department of Labor to implement COVID-19 worker protection programs – including at least $75 million for OSHA enforcement.
- Ensures Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Frontline Maritime and Federal Workers: Establishes a presumption that COVID-19 is work-related and authorizes eligibility for medical benefits, lost wages and survivor benefits for longshore and shipyard workers as well as federal and postal workers.
- Helps families access high-quality child care by expanding the Child and Dependent Tax Credit (CDCTC) to allow families to claim up to half of their child care expenses
- Provides $26 Billion for Emergency Rental Assistance
- Provides $10 Billion to Help Homeowners
- Provides $5 Billion to Those Most in Need to Help Pay Their Utility Bills
- Extends SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent (through September 30, 2021);
- Investing more than $5 billion in in the Pandemic EBT program so that low-income families have access to school meals and food assistance during both the school year and summer months.
Assistance for Small Businesses
- $7.25 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and expands eligibility of 501(c) nonprofits of all sizes and types, except for 501(c)4 lobbying organizations.
- $25 billion for a new program at SBA to offer assistance to restaurants and bars with 20 or fewer locations that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
- $15 Billion for COVID-19 Emergency Grants Through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
Relief for State and Local Governments
- $195.3 billion for the states.
- $130.2 billion for local governments. Under the bill, local governments of every size would receive dedicated allotments.
- $30 billion for transit agencies across the country to prevent, prepare and respond to the continued threat of the pandemic.
- $8 billion to support airports across the country as well as airport concessions and their employees.