Congressman García’s Statement on Final Passage of the American Rescue Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) issued the following statement after the House passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to provide $1.9 trillion in coronavirus relief. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
“Help is on the way. The American Rescue Plan will put money in people’s pockets, expand vaccine distribution, get students and teachers safely back to school, provide much-needed rental assistance, and help small businesses keep the lights on.
“Tens of millions of Americans have been infected and more than half a million lives have been lost to the virus, including more than 23,000 Illinoisians. Working-class, immigrant, Latino, and Black communities in Chicago and across the country are the hardest hit by these economic and health crises but they continue to keep our economy going.
“The American Rescue Plan delivers the relief that families in my district urgently need. I fought to ensure mixed-status families would receive survival checks building on the $600 payments enacted in December. The package also includes other provisions I pushed hard for including: $30.5 billion dollars to keep struggling transit agencies like CTA, Pace Bus, and Metra afloat, $130 billion to safely re-open schools, and $27.5 billion in emergency rental assistance to ensure struggling families have a safe place to live.
“Though this is the first COVID relief package that meets the scope and need of the crisis, I was disappointed the Senate stripped out the minimum wage increase. Together, with my colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, we will pursue every available avenue to guarantee a minimum wage of $15 an hour for all workers in future legislation.”
“More must be done in the coming months to help our communities recover from this pandemic, but this package is an enormous step forward. I will continue working with my colleagues and the Biden-Harris administration to build on this progress and give working families the help and resources they need.”
The American Rescue Plan Act includes urgent, direct aid to families and investments to keep us safe:
- Direct payments of $1,400 per adult and child, including mixed-status families.
- $26 billion for emergency rental assistance and $10 billion for struggling homeowners.
- An expansion of the 2021 Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child and $3,600 per child under 6 years old. This tax credit will be fully refundable, so that working-class families receive the full benefit, and paid in advance in monthly installments.
- Extends supplemental unemployment benefits for 6 months
- $20 billion to establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program.
- $51 billion to expand testing, contact tracing, and more to slow the spread.
- $130 billion to help K-12 schools reopen safely.
- $30.5 billion for transit agencies