COVID Relief Day 1: Larson Votes to Advance Critical Unemployment Benefits and Safety Net Programs
Hartford, CT – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) voted to advance critical COVID relief including enhanced unemployment benefits and safety net programs as a part of President Biden’s historic American Rescue Plan to address the magnitude of the pandemic. Earlier in the day, Larson pushed back on Republican claims that this relief wasn’t needed.
“More than 135,000 Connecticut residents are currently unemployed and many others are facing significant loss in wages. Unless Congress acts, these families will continue to face extreme financial hardship,” said Larson. “That’s why I voted today to extend unemployment benefits through August and increase extra funding for unemployed workers to $400 per week.
“The Ways and Means Committee also advanced critical safety net protections to improve maternal health programs for low-income women, increase funding for anti-elder abuse programs, and affordable child care programs. Women have borne the brunt of this pandemic. Many of them have been forced to choose between caring for their children and their jobs . The American Rescue Plan would provide an additional $5 million for Connecticut to increase day care provider slots and ensure families are able to afford them. Additionally, it provides funding to strengthen the Pandemic Emergency Fund, which would send $8 million to Connecticut to help our neighbors in need afford essential items to survive, such as food, rent, or heat. This pandemic is far from over and we need President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to overcome it.”
This is the first day of a multiple day markup of provisions in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan along with additional proposals. In the coming days, the Ways and Means Committee will consider provisions including expanding health insurance for the uninsured, reducing health care premiums for federal marketplace plans, reducing child poverty by half, and sending a new round of $1,400 direct payments to Americans in need, along with additional COVID relief.