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Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) 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.  

The American Rescue Plan will deliver the relief necessary for Americans to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will ensure vaccine access to every American, provide direct payments to families and individuals struggling from the pandemic’s economic fallout, send children back to school safely, give communities the tools crucial for navigating the remainder of the pandemic and the years beyond, put the American people back to work, as well as many more critical provisions.

“Millions of Americans are feeling the daily devastation of the pandemic, not only in their lost loved ones or their health but in their ability to put food on the table or send their kids to school safely. With 530,000 Americans’ lives lost, millions without jobs, and countless more suffering silently, my greatest fear for relief was doing too little. I am proud to support the American Rescue Plan, which I know will bring our country’s people the aid they deserve and save lives and livelihoods,” said Clarke. 

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.

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, cut child poverty in half, and lift nearly 12 million people out of poverty.

“The facts are clear: the American Rescue Plan is what we need to beat COVID, safely reopen schools, deliver relief to working families, and foster an inclusive recovery. I am honored to vote yes on the largest relief bill in American history and sent it to President Biden’s desk. To every American, we say: help is on the way,” said Clarke.  

Rep. Clarke’s floor speech in support of the American Rescue Plan can be viewed here


Yvette D. Clarke has been in Congress since 2007. She represents New York’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes Central and South Brooklyn. Clarke is Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Taskforce on Immigration,  a Senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and a Senior Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

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