Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) joins its Circle of Protection partners in applauding Congressional passage of the American Rescue Plan, which is now scheduled to be signed into law this afternoon.
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The bill is especially important for poor and low-income people who have been struggling through the year-long pandemic. It is an important step to recovery and helping communities that have been disproportionately affected by the dual health and economic crises.
“The American Rescue plan is the large-scale bill we have needed all along to deal with the dual crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and poverty,” said FCNL General Secretary Diane Randall. “As people of faith, we believe it is a moral imperative to confront the pandemic and care for all people left in its disastrous wake.”
The Circle of Protection sent a letter late last month to all members of Congress and the Biden administration urging them to pass another round of COVID-19 relief. They urged them to address the “concurrent crises of the pandemic, economic recession, and systemic racism.”
“The American Rescue Plan is a win for the United States and people around the world. The inclusion of roughly $10 billion will help fight COVID-19 globally. None of us are safe until all of us are safe.” said Amelia Kegan, FCNL’s domestic policy legislative director.
Aside from this provision to other countries affected by the pandemic, the bill also expands two tax credit programs that have been proven to help lift families out of poverty: the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Both will significantly reduce domestic poverty. Currently, 11 million children live in poverty. But this law will cut that number in half by year’s end.
The Circle of Protection is a broad and unprecedented coalition of church and ministry leaders from the main families of U.S. Christianity — Catholic, evangelical Protestant, ecumenical Protestant, the Historic African American churches, and Latino churches. They are advocating for issues of poverty and hunger. Together, the church bodies in the Circle of Protection have close to 100 million members.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.