Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) hailed House passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319). The vote of 219-212 marks the latest and by far the most expansive attempt to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic at home and abroad since it began last year.
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“Today’s vote shows Congress is finally ready to meaningfully confront this pandemic and its economic fallout on a large scale. The previous relief bills did little to stop, let alone slow, the spread of COVID-19 and its financial impacts. This is the game-changing bill we need,” said FCNL General Secretary Diane Randall. “President Biden made it clear he wants to go big in taking on COVID-19. As people of faith, we agree. It is a moral imperative to confront the pandemic and care for all of those left in its disastrous wake.”
COVID-19 has had devastating economic consequences for lower-and middle-income earners. This bill provides targeted economic assistance to individuals and families who need it the most by investing in an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. This would help millions of adults without children working low-wage jobs and the parents of nearly 26 million children who don’t receive the full Child Tax Credit due to their low incomes. These provisions will cut child poverty in half. Extended unemployment benefits, homelessness prevention, nutrition assistance, and aid to state, local, and tribal governments are also covered.
“Hundreds of thousands of low wage workers are doing their fair share to keep stores open, transportation moving, and hospitals and other medical centers clean, open, and ready to treat patients. They receive little compensation while risking their lives to keep life as close to normal as can be for the rest of us. This bill provides the help they need,” said Amelia Kegan, FCNL’s domestic policy legislative director. “While thankfully the number of fatalities is dropping, we urge the Senate to pass their companion bill so that this new COVID-19 relief bill can get to President Biden.”
The American Rescue Plan Act now moves to the Senate. FCNL urges it be passed quickly and signed into law.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.