WASHINGTON – Rep. Jamaal Bowman voted today for final passage of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act, which will provide urgently-needed resources to defeat the coronavirus, put vaccines in people’s arms, money into families’ pockets, children safely back into classrooms, and people back to work. This legislation will now go to President Joe Biden for signature.
“The American Rescue Plan, although not perfect, is a significant and profound step to rebuild what we've lost during this pandemic, move toward making families whole, and save lives,” Rep. Bowman said. “Importantly, the rescue plan provides $170 billion in resources for schools and state education departments to assist with a smooth and safe reopening of in-person learning across the country. Our kids and families have dealt with unbelievable trauma during this pandemic, and I’m optimistic that this package will help us to heal.
“Now that we have passed this legislation, Congress’ next steps, working in tandem with the White House, must be to establish a viable pathway toward a nationwide $15 million wage, which would bring a raise for tens of millions of workers and lift hundreds of thousands out of poverty. The Biden administration was given a mandate by voters to secure a $15 minimum wage and we must explore all avenues to achieve that, including abolishing the filibuster in the Senate.
“Additionally, we will continue to advocate for recurring $2,000 monthly checks and a full cancellation of rent and mortgage payments during the pandemic. I’m ready to keep working with my colleagues in Congress and the White House to get families in NY16 through to the other side of this pandemic and to revitalize our economy.”
The American Rescue Plan invests $1.9 trillion into Americans’ lives and livelihoods:
- 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.