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Rep. Bera Votes to Pass American Rescue Plan, Deliver Urgent Relief to Sacramento County Families and Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-07) today voted for the American Rescue Plan to deliver urgent support for Sacramento County families and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the vaccination of millions of Americans and the steady decline in hospitalizations and deaths are welcome news, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put enormous strain on communities across the country, including in Sacramento County. That’s why I voted today for the American Rescue Plan to take decisive action to support American families and small businesses,” said Representative Bera. “As a doctor, the most important thing we can do to defeat this virus is to get as many Americans vaccinated as possible, especially those in underserved and hard-to-reach communities. This bill does just that by creating a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide. The legislation also provides much-needed resources to get students safely back in the classroom – a priority for parents and teachers across CA-07. The American Rescue Plan also delivers aid to small businesses hardest hit by the pandemic and extends critical unemployment benefits, helping ease the financial strain that families in Sacramento County have been experiencing on an everyday basis during this crisis.”

Rep. Bera continued: “Sacramento County residents have shown incredible resiliency during this pandemic, making sacrifices to ensure the safety of not only their own families, but also that of their neighbors and community members. I won’t stop fighting for their health and economic well-being, and that’s why I urge the Senate to immediately pass this legislation so the President can sign it into law. The cost of inaction is too high.”

The American Rescue Plan would:

  • Help schools safely reopen: The legislation will make a $130 billion investment in school re-openings,
  • Keep first responders, teachers, and health care workers on the job by providing $350 billion in funding to state and local governments;
  • Support small businesses with expanded Paycheck Protection Program eligibility, additional funding for EIDL advance grants, and $25 billion to restaurants;
  • Keep Americans housed with $19 billion in emergency rental assistance; and
  • Establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program

Included in the American Rescue Plan are Bera-led provisions to increase funding for community health centers and vaccine awareness and education to ensure communities of color and other underserved communities are not left behind in the vaccine rollout. Community health centers serve more than 29 million people in the United States and have tested more than 8 million patients for COVID-19. More than half of those who have received COVID-19 vaccinations at community health centers are people of color, and they sometimes serve as the only option for testing and health care in a community.

Also included in the American Rescue Plan is Bera-led legislation to increase funding for genomic sequencing to detect COVID-19 variants. Rep. Bera introduced the bicameral Tracking COVID-19 Variants Act on February 4 to provide $2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control to support a robust national sequence-based surveillance program.

“I’m proud to have fought and secured funding for community health centers, which are key to stopping the virus in underserved communities across the country,” said Rep. Bera. “I’m also happy that the American Rescue Plan includes my legislation to dramatically scale up our ability to detect and respond to new COVID-19 variants which will continue to pop up as more Americans get vaccinated. This funding will undoubtably save lives and prepare us for future variants and diseases.”

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