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Neal Votes for American Rescue Plan, Sending Transformational COVID Relief Package to President Biden’s Desk

March 10, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Richard E. Neal voted for final passage of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act, landmark, life-saving legislation that will provide urgently-needed resources to defeat the virus, put vaccines in people’s arms, money into families’ pockets, children safely back into classrooms and people back to work.  This legislation will now go to President Biden’s desk for his signature.  

“This week is one of great progress and promise for Massachusetts families, communities and small businesses, as I joined my fellow Democrats to pass the American Rescue Plan and send it to President Biden’s desk for final signature,” said Congressman Neal, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee who was responsible for $941 billion of the $1.9 trillion piece of legislation.  “With tens of millions of Americans infected, more than half a million lives lost, over 18 million Americans unemployed and millions more hungry and food and housing insecure, the people of Massachusetts can be assured that ‘Help Is On The Way,’ thanks to Democrats’ tireless work to enact this historic legislation.”

The Biden American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods:

  • Put Vaccines in Arms: The plan will mount a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide and addressing disparities facing communities of color.  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. 
  • Put 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 unemployment insurance so that 18 million American workers can pay their bills and support 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and more than 17 million low-wage workers through an improved Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Put Children Safely Back in School: The plan delivers $170 billion for education and $45 billion for child care providers.  This includes a $130 billion investment in K-12 school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom, with funds that 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 more than $40 billion for higher education.
  • Put 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.

The American Rescue Plan is strongly supported by a large majority of the American people – including 60 percent of Republicans – bipartisan state and local leaders, national education groups, trade unions and advocacy organizations and hundreds of businesses and chambers of commerce.  Economists agree that the American Rescue Plan’s targeted, evidence-based action is needed – both for struggling families and for the American economy.  The legislation’s provisions will generate $1.25 for every $1 of spending, will cut child poverty in half and will lift nearly 12 million people out of poverty.

“I am immensely proud of the aggressive course of action the Ways and Means Committee contributed to this package,” said Congressman Neal. “These solutions answer the calls of the workers who saw their industries evaporate last year and those we’ve heard from working parents who have been juggling child care, remote schooling, and their own jobs for months on end. They are experiencing the most fractured pieces of our society, all while undergoing a pandemic, and that’s why we had to go big. Putting money directly into their pockets, helping them better afford child care and health coverage, and shoring up their hard-earned retirement security are all provisions that will help sustain the American people for the better days that still lie ahead.”

The state of Massachusetts will receive $8.1 billion in assistance with cities and towns across the western and central part of the state that comprise the First Congressional District receiving $241 million.

A complete breakdown can be found HERE.