Larson Votes for Critical COVID Relief
Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) voted for H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a transformative landmark bill which implements President Biden’s urgently needed plan. The package will provide $1.9 trillion in critical COVID relief to aid Americans and to crush the virus.
“President Biden’s transformative American Rescue Plan will provide direct aid to municipal governments and individuals in need so that Americans can recover and return to their normal lives. It will put dollars in families’ pockets as they struggle to stay afloat during the dual economic and health crises.
“We are going to crush this virus together. I have met virtually or in person with dozens of municipal and nonprofit leaders as well as hundreds of residents of the First Congressional District at testing and vaccination sites, schools, and hospitals to discuss the impact of the virus and how the federal government can help,” said Larson.
“I will continue to work with frontline workers, mayors, selectmen, restaurants, retailers, and others to secure the aid necessary to recover from the pandemic. I am optimistic that the Senate will pass this bill and it will be on the President’s desk by March 14th before many aid programs expire. I am disappointed the Senate may be removing the minimum wage provision from the bill. This is a perfect example of why the Senate must abolish the filibuster and the artificial 60-vote threshold that continues to stand in the way of progress on so many key issues from the minimum wage, gun safety, voting rights, and more.
“I want to thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for leading the way on this critical legislation.”
Key provisions of the American Rescue Plan, include the following:
Relief for American families:
- Provides $1,400 in direct payments to Americans. A family of four making less than $150,000 would receive $5,600.
- Cuts child poverty in half by Increasing the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child age 6 and over/$3,600 for children under age 6. It also expands the program by increasing the threshold to $112,500 for heads of households and to $150,000 for married couples.
- Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers, including working seniors for the first time.
- Extends the Families First Coronavirus Response Act paid family and medical leave credits.
- Expands the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and makes it fully refundable to help families afford child care.
- Strengthens the ACA Premium Tax Credits to help middle- and low-income families access affordable, quality healthcare during the pandemic. This would cut premium costs in half for a family of four in Connecticut earning $120,000/year and it would cut costs by 40 percent for a couple earning $75,000/year jointly in Connecticut.
- Provides $39 billion in supplemental funding for child care including $277 million for CT, so that parents can return to work.
- 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.
- Gradually raises the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025 – the first increase in more than a decade.
- Provides $26 billion for emergency rental assistance, $10 billion in Homeowners Assistance Fund, and almost $5 billion for homeless.
- Funds $5 billion to those most in need to help pay their utility bills.
- Makes strong investments in food security, addressing the persistent hunger the pandemic has caused.
- Ensures veterans will not have copays or cost-sharing for services related to COVID-19 retroactive to April 2020 and provides additional funds to the Veterans Administration for health care services.
Measures to combat COVID:
- Establishes for the first time a national vaccination program allocating over $20 billion for administration and distribution of vaccines, including:
- $7.5 billion for the CDC to prepare, promote, administer, monitor, and track the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines.
- $5.2 billion to Health and Human Services (HHS) to support advanced research, development, manufacturing, production and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics.
- Helps skilled nursing facilities to better cope with COVID-19, including:
- $200 million to help control infections in nursing homes.
- $250 million for Strike Teams to go into nursing homes as soon as a COVID outbreak occurs to help keep it from spreading.
Relief for Small Businesses:
- Extends the Employee Retention Tax Credit to help small businesses.
- Provides targeted relief for restaurants by creating a $25 billion grant program to provide up to $5 million in grants per location and $10 million per entity.
- Expands eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program and provides an additional $7 billion in funding.
- Provides an additional $15 billion for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
- Provides $1.25 billion in grants for live venue operators, theaters and museums.
- Establishes the Community Navigator pilot program to ensure COVID-19 programs better serve the most vulnerable businesses in our communities.
Relief for State and Local Governments:
- Provides the State of Connecticut an estimated $2.7 billion in relief while cities across the state would receive $870 million, including $212 million for towns in the First Congressional District.
- Creates new $350 billion in State and Local Coronavirus Relief Funds to keep first responders, frontline health workers, and other critical public service works on the job.
- $195 billion in relief funding is allocated to States.
- Local governments would receive $130 billion evenly divided between cities and counties.
- $20 billion is allocated to Tribal Governments and $4.5 billion to US Territories.
- Provides funding that states like Connecticut without county governments can proportionally distribute to localities.
- Provides almost $130 billion to help K-12 schools reopen safely, including nearly $1.2 billion for CT.
- Awards $40 billion directly to institutions of higher education, including over $371 million for higher education institutions in CT.
- Provides $1 billion in emergency funding to Head Start, including $6.7 million to maintain access to services for children and families in CT.
- Allocates additional $50 billion to FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund.
- Invests $30 billion in our nation’s transit systems, keeps Amtrak operating, and provides additional support to airports and aviation industry jobs.