WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) issued the following statement after the House passage of the American Rescue Plan.
“Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has demanded that Americans make difficult decisions to ensure the health and safety of their loved ones,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “Right now, we stand at a crossroads. With the vaccine providing us with light at the end of the tunnel, it is more crucial than ever that we provide American families with the support they need to outlast this virus. We cannot let these months become a question of economic stability versus our collective health – and that is why the American Rescue Plan is a bold, comprehensive package that meets the magnitude of the crisis we continue to face. That means additional direct payments, unemployment benefits and small business support. The scaling up of our public health infrastructure to help our health care workforce vaccinate as many Americans as they can, as fast as they can.”
“The American people need to know that help is on the way,” Matsui continued. “Earlier this week, we passed the horrific number of 500,000 American lives lost from this deadly disease. With new strains emerging and infecting Americans across the country, we are in a race against time. This package is the aggressive action that we need to prevent more human and economic costs of inaction. I have had many discussions with community members across the region, and I have fought hard to make sure that the needs of Sacramentans are met with the urgency they deserve.”
The American Rescue Plan will:
- Beat the virus and safely reopen schools – The bill will mount a national vaccination plan 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 inequities. The plan will also make investments necessary to safely reopen schools.
- Deliver immediate relief to working families bearing the brunt of the crisis – The bill finishes the job on the President’s promise to provide $2,000 per person in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December. The bill 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 18 million American workers can pay their bills and support 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and 15 million low-wage childless workers through an improved Earned Income Tax Credit. It will also give 27 million workers a raise by raising the federal minimum wage.
- Support communities struggling with the economic fallout – The bill 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 bill 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.
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