Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Katherine Clark (MA-5) issued the following statement to mark the one year anniversary of President Biden signing the American Rescue Plan Act into law.
"In a time of historic loss and economic challenge, President Biden and Congressional Democrats enacted the historic American Rescue Plan that has paved the way for our recovery. The American Rescue Plan enabled our state and local governments and health care workers to provide essential, lifesaving services. It saved small businesses, distributed survival checks, and cut child poverty through the Child Tax Credit. And vitally, it provided free vaccines and care, helping to contain the COVID-19 virus and allowing schools and businesses to safely reopen. I am especially proud of the $40 billion in child care relief funding that kept early education programs open, got parents back to work, and allowed our economy to recover."
"This law laid the foundation for the greatest year of job creation in American history, adding over seven million jobs and securing historically low unemployment. The pandemic tested the resilience of the American people but proved that when Washington works for families at home, we can build a better America. I am eager to continue our progress and our work of lowering costs for families and ensuring every woman, worker, and child has a fair shot at success."
The American Rescue Plan has saved lives and livelihoods:
- Put Vaccines in Arms: The law mounted a national vaccination program that included setting up community vaccination sites nationwide. It also took 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 care disparities.
- Returned Children Safely Back in School: The law made a nearly $130 billion investment in school re-opening and efforts to make up for lost time in the classroom. These funds have been used to reduce class sizes, modify spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improve ventilation, implement more mitigation measures, provide personal protective equipment, and provide summer school and other support for students that help make up lost learning time. The American Rescue Plan also provided resources for higher education, Head Start programs, and $40 billion for child care facilities.
- Massachusetts received almost $2 billion in funds for the Commonwealth's K-12 schools, approximately $525 million in emergency child care funding, and $825 million in support funding for its higher education institutions.
- Put Money in People's Pockets: The law provided $2,000 in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December 2020. It also provided direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, expanded access to affordable health care, extended and expanded Unemployment Insurance so that 19 million American workers could pay their bills and supported 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and 15 million low-wage workers through the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Got People Back to Work: The law provided 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. It also provided crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers, and other essential workers that Americans depend on.
- $195.3 billion for states to keep first responders, frontline health workers, and other providers of vital services safely on the job.
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts received $4.5 billion in state aid and Massachusetts' local governments received a total of $3.7 billion.
Original story HERE