Lisa Blunt Rochester

02/27/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/27/2021 16:17

Blunt Rochester Votes to Pass the Biden American Rescue Plan to Deliver Urgent Relief to the American People

WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) voted to pass H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act, landmark, life-saving legislation that will provide urgently-needed resources to defeat the virus, get vaccines in people's arms, put money into families' pockets, return children safely to the classroom, and put people back to work.

'Delawareans and folks across the country have been feeling the impact of the COVID-19 crisis for nearly a year. While Congress has acted in a bipartisan manner throughout the pandemic, the reality is that there's still so much more to do,' said Rep. Blunt Rochester. 'Economists from across the political spectrum - including Jerome Powell and Janet Yellin - have told us that our risk is not in doing too much - it's doing too little.'

The Biden American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods:

  • Put Vaccines in Arms: The plan will mount a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide. 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 Children Safely Back in School: The plan will make a nearly $130 billion investment in school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom. These funds 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 resources for higher education, Head Start and child care facilities.
  • 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 and expand Unemployment Insurance so that 19 million American workers can pay their bills and supporting 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and 15 million low-wage workers through the Earned Income Tax Credit. It will give 27 million workers a raise and lift one million out of poverty by raising the federal minimum wage.
  • 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. AsMark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody's Analytics, has said, 'It's better to err on the side of too much rather than too little. Interest rates are at zero, inflation is low, unemployment is high. You don't need a textbook to know this is when you push on the fiscal accelerator.'

If the American Rescue Plan is not enacted now, the results could be catastrophic, with 4 million fewer jobs this year, according to Moody's, and it could take a year longer to return to full employment. An entire cohort of young people may have lower lifetime earnings because they were deprived of another semester of school. Millions of parents, particularly mothers, could be forced to stay at home, reducing their wages and job prospects because they have no choice but to care for their kids. And without this package, it will take another four years of suffering before real GDP returns to its pre-pandemic levels, according to the nonpartisan CBO.

'The American Rescue Plan meets the magnitude of this moment. From targeted investments in vaccination distribution, dollars for mobile units to meet people where they are, critically-needed assistance for our struggling small businesses, and fulfilling our promise to the American people to provide the additional $1,400 worth of direct payments - a provision I've worked hard to secure,' continued Blunt Rochester. 'I was also proud to vote for a living wage of $15 an hour and I'll continue to fight in Congress to ensure that we raise the wage. Everyone's goal is to get our children safely back in school, people safely back at work, and build our economy back better. Those important goals have been advanced today through the passage of the American Rescue Plan.'

# # #