CONGRESSWOMAN JOHNSON STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF $1.9 TRILLION COVID-19 RELIEF PACKAGE
Washington, D.C. – This morning, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Dean of the Texas Congressional Delegation, released the following statement on the passage of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan:
“With tens of millions of Americans sick, more than half a million lives lost, and millions more unemployed and without access to basic necessities, the cost of inaction is growing,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic are indeed great. Therefore, our determination and efforts to solve them together must be greater. That is why I was proud to join my colleagues to pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan – a bold, strategic, and long-overdue relief package that will deliver critical aid to families in Texas and across the country.”
“As Chairwoman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I am also pleased that the American Rescue Plan directs funding through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for vital research programs related to the prevention of, response to, and recovery from COVID-19,” added Congresswoman Johnson. “Our STEM workforce has and will continue to play a significant role in combating the pandemic, and we must ensure that they have the resources necessary to continue their work.”
The Biden American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods by:
- Putting Vaccines in Arms: The plan will mount a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide. It will also take 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.
- Putting Children Safely Back in School: The plan will make a nearly $130 billion investment in school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom. These funds can be used for such things as reducing class sizes, modifying spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improving ventilation, implementing more mitigation measures, providing personal protective equipment, and providing summer school or other support for students that help make up lost learning time this year. The plan also provides resources for higher education, Head Start, and child care facilities.
- Putting Money in People’s Pockets: The plan finishes the job on the President’s promise to provide $2,000 in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December. The plan will also provide direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, expand access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care, extend and expand Unemployment Insurance so that 19 million American workers can pay their bills and supporting 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and 15 million low-wage workers through the Earned Income Tax Credit. It will give 27 million workers a raise and lift one million out of poverty by raising the federal minimum wage.
- Putting People Back In Jobs: The plan will provide 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. The plan also provides crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers, and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.