What’s in the American Rescue Plan?

The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis have undermined the health and
economic wellbeing of American workers. Millions of Americans, many of whom are people of color,
immigrants, and low-wage workers, continue to put their lives on the line every day to keep the
country functioning through the pandemic. And more than 9.5 million workers have lost their jobs in
the wake of COVID-19, with 4 million out of work for half a year or longer. Without additional
government assistance, the economic and public health crises could drag on and our national
vaccination program will be hobbled at a critical moment.

The American Rescue Plan will change the course of the pandemic and deliver immediate relief for
American workers. The plan will build a bridge to an equitable economic recovery and immediately
reduce child poverty. In fact, a Columbia University study found that passing the plan will lift more
than 5 million children out of poverty this year, cutting the poverty rate by 50%. The bill is one of the
most progressive pieces of legislation in history, with more than two-thirds of its tax cuts and direct
payments going to families making less than $90,000 per year. It will:

Mount a national vaccination program, contain COVID-19, and safely reopen schools. American
workers should not have to lie awake at night wondering if they’ll make it home from work safely the
next day, or if they’ll bring home the virus to their loved ones and communities. President Biden has a
comprehensive plan to address the pandemic that will:
● Invest about $160 billion to provide the supplies, emergency response, testing, and public
health workforce to stop the spread of COVID-19, while distributing vaccines as quickly as
possible and addressing racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes. These emergency
measures will help combat the heavy toll this virus is exacting, and will deliver community-based and culturally competent care.
● Provide $130 billion to help schools serve all students, no matter where they are learning, and
help achieve President Biden’s goal to safely open the majority of K-8 schools within the first
100 days of his Administration. These investments include set-asides at the local and state
level to ensure states and districts address the learning loss and social and emotional needs of
students disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including students of color, English
learners, and students with disabilities.

Deliver immediate relief to American families bearing the brunt of this crisis. The American
Rescue Plan devotes about $1 trillion towards building a bridge to economic recovery for working
families. All told, a single parent with one young child making the minimum wage could see her
income increase from the equivalent of $7.25 to around $11 per hour. The plan will:
● Give working families a $1,400 per-person check, bringing their total relief payment from
this and the December down payment to $2,000. More than 85% of households will receive a
check and checks in this bill are bigger than the checks in the CARES Act or in the December
bill. And, for the first time, adult dependents are entitled to a check as well. This means a lower
or middle-income family of four will see an additional $5,600 in their pockets.
● Extend current unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility to September 6 (saving
11 million Americans from losing benefits starting in about a week), provide a $300 per
week supplement, and help protect Americans from surprise tax bills on unemployment
insurance they received last year.
● Help Americans stay in their homes by providing emergency aid to cover back rent. In
addition, the bill provides assistance to help struggling homeowners catch up with their
mortgage payments and utility costs through the Homeowners Assistance Fund. And, it
provides additional funding for families and individuals who are recovering from or at risk of
● Increase the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The
American Rescue Plan will increase SNAP benefits by 15 percent through September 2021.
The bill also funds partnerships with restaurants to feed American families and keep workers in
the restaurant industry on the job. And, it provides U.S. territories like Puerto Rico additional
nutrition assistance funding, in addition to funding to make sure women, infants and children
get the food they need to help address food insecurity.
● Increase the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child
under age 6) and make 17-year-olds qualifying children for the year. This means a typical
family of four with two young children will receive an additional $3,200 in assistance to help
cover costs associated with raising children. The families of more than 66 million kids will
● Increase the Earned Income Tax Credit for 17 million workers by as much as $1,000. The
top occupations that will benefit are cashiers, food preparers and servers, and home health
aides – frontline workers who have helped their communities get through the crisis.
● Expand child care assistance, help hard-hit child care providers cover their costs, and
increase tax credits to help cover the cost of childcare. This is the single biggest investment in
child care since World War II.
● Give families an additional tax credit to help cut child care costs. Families will get back as
a refundable tax credit as much as half of their spending on child care for children under age
13, so that they can receive a total of up to $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for two or more
● Provide an additional $1 billion for states to cover the additional cash assistance that
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients needed as a result of the crisis.
● Lower or eliminate health insurance premiums for millions of lower- and middle-income
families enrolled in health insurance marketplaces. A family of four making $90,000 could
see their monthly premium come down by $200 per month. This will help well over a million
uninsured Americans gain coverage. The plan also subsidizes premiums for continuation
health coverage (COBRA).

Support communities that are struggling in the wake of COVID-19. Millions of American workers
reside in communities that suffered disproportionately in recent months. The Plan provides critical
support to these communities. It will:
● Provide emergency grants, lending, and investment to hard-hit small businesses so they can
rehire and retain workers and purchase the health and sanitation equipment they need to keep
workers safe. This includes a Small Business Opportunity Fund to provide growth capital to
main street small businesses in economically disadvantaged areas, including minority-owned
● Distribute more than $360 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal
governments to ensure that they are in a position to keep front line public workers on the job
and paid, while also effectively distributing the vaccine, scaling testing, reopening schools, and
maintaining other vital services. State and local employment has fallen by around 1.4 million
jobs since the pandemic began including layoffs of 1 million educators, compared to around
750,000 job losses during the Great Recession.
● Help hard-hit public transit agencies avoid layoffs and service reductions, which
disproportionately harm workers who are more likely to be dependent on public transportation.

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