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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1319 - American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

February 26, 2021

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House Rules)

The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. This bill is based on the plan that the President proposed to the Congress in January. It provides the tools and support critical to meet the moment and tackle the urgent public health and economic crises the Nation faces as a result of COVID-19.

The bill provides the funding necessary to support the Administration's Government-wide strategy to combat COVID-19. This includes funding to set up community vaccination sites nationwide, scale up testing and tracing, eliminate supply shortage problems, invest in high-quality treatments, address health disparities, and ensure workplace health and safety protections. The bill also extends tax credits for employers that provide workers with paid sick and family leave to contain the spread of the virus. Because the pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for students and parents, with families of color disproportionately impacted, the bill provides K-12 schools and institutions of higher learning with the resources they need to reopen safely and stay open, as well as to address the academic, social and emotional needs of students.

The bill also delivers immediate relief to workers and families bearing the brunt of the public health and economic crises. The bill finishes the job of providing Americans with a $2,000 economic impact payment by providing eligible Americans with a $1,400 payment in addition to the $600 payment provided in December of 2020. The bill also expands the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit on an emergency basis, extends key emergency unemployment benefits, raises the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and stabilizes pensions for Americans who participate in multi-employer pension plans. To deal with the acute housing and hunger crises caused by the pandemic, the bill provides Americans in need with rental, mortgage, and homelessness assistance and extends the emergency benefit increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To help families cope with child care challenges as a result of the pandemic—including the significant reduction in female labor force participation— the bill provides relief to hard-hit child care providers and temporarily increases tax credits to help families cover the cost of child care. And the bill lowers health care costs and expands health care access during this once-in-a century pandemic by increasing Affordable Care Act premium tax credits, providing subsidies for continuation health coverage (COBRA), ensuring adequate funding for veterans' health, and providing critical funding to help address the unprecedented mental health and substance use consequences of the pandemic.

The bill also provides critical support to struggling communities and businesses. For small businesses, the bill includes funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance program, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, and a program that finances innovative small businesses. The bill also establishes a new program to help struggling businesses in the hospitality industry and a new Community Navigator pilot program to increase awareness of, and participation in, COVID-19 small business relief programs. To help farmers struggling with the effects of the pandemic, the bill includes funding to address weaknesses in our agriculture food systems. In addition, the bill provides relief for hard-hit public transportation agencies, as well as funding to directly support airline industry employees. The bill provides support for police, firefighters, EMTs, and other essential workers through flexible funding for State, local, and territorial governments. Finally, the bill provides Tribal governments with critical support to address persistent inequities in COVID-19 transmission, hospitalization, and death, while improving economic conditions and opportunity.

The bill would allow the Administration to execute its plan to change the course of the COVID19 pandemic. And it would provide Americans and their communities an economic bridge through the crisis. The Administration urges the Congress to act swiftly to pass the bill in order to deliver to American communities the urgent support and relief they need.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1319 - American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/348328