WASHINGTON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva announced his intention to vote in favor of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The package includes funding that will expand testing and vaccination efforts, provide funds for schools to safely return to in-person learning and make up for lost time in the classroom, and prevent budget shortfalls for state and local governments. Additionally, the bill puts money directly in the pockets of workers with another round of direct payments and an extension of expanded unemployment benefits.
“The combined crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn continue devastating the lives and livelihoods of the people of Southern Arizona,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The American people are desperate for help, and I am proudly supporting this package to provide immediate relief to workers, families, and small businesses who need it the most. With vaccination efforts already slowing the spread of the virus, this funding ensures we can continue to safely weather the end of this pandemic.”
Over 18 million people are receiving unemployment benefits, 24 million struggle with hunger, and an estimated 40 million people cannot pay their rent or mortgage. Women are particularly disproportionately impacted with an estimated 2.3 million forced to leave the workforce.
Some of the key provisions of the bill include:
- Additional direct payments of $1,400 per person.
- An increase in the size of the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child. ($3,600 for children under 6)
- $20 billion for a National COVID-19 Vaccination Program to improve the administration and distribution of vaccines.
- $47.8 billion to expand testing, contact tracing, and mitigation efforts.
- $130 billion for schools to safely return to in-person learning.
- Arizona will receive $2.72 billion for K-12 education
- Extends Pandemic UI programs and increases the Federal Supplemental Unemployment Benefit from $300 per month to $400 per month.
- Expands subsidies in the ACA marketplace and COBRA subsidies for those who have lost their employer-based coverage under the pandemic.
- $26 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance
- $10 Billion for Struggling Homeowners
- Extends SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent through September 30
- Raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- $39 billion for child care providers
- $7.25 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses
- $350 billion for state, local, and tribal governments that sets aside $130.2 billion directly for local governments.
- $20 billion in direct relief to tribal governments
“Despite the refusal of Republicans to work with the Biden Administration and provide Americans with the relief they deserve, an overwhelming majority of Americans support this bold relief package,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “The light is at the end of the tunnel, and these funds will help us get their safely. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill quickly so that we can get relief to those in our communities who need it the most.”