Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) applauds the House of Representatives’ action to approve President Joe Biden’s relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan.
“The American Rescue Plan is a monumental relief package and critical antipoverty measure that will give desperately needed support to average Americans who have been devastated by COVID-19, including sending out $1,400 checks and funding states’ efforts to streamline and speed up vaccine distribution. This is a much-needed measure, and we are grateful to the Administration and Congress for their round-the-clock work in getting this essential support into the pockets of hard working Americans,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg.
With the 220-211 House vote, the bill will go to the President’s desk for signature. NCL applauded specific measures included in the legislation:
- $300 federal boost to weekly jobless payments and extension of two key pandemic unemployment benefits programs through September 6.
- Expansion of the child tax credit to up to $3,600 per child and $3,000 for each child under age 18 . Currently, families can receive a credit of up to $2,000 per child under age 17.
- The first $10,200 worth of benefits payments are tax-free for households with annual incomes less than $150,000.
- The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits to freelancers, gig workers, and independent contractors.
- The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which increases the duration of payments for those in the traditional state unemployment system.
- $350 billion in relief to states, local governments, territories. and tribes.
- $10 billion Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund.
- 15 percent increase in food stamp benefits through September (it was previously set to expire at the end of June).
- $880 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC, to help increase participation and temporarily improve benefits, among other measures.
- $30 billion to help renters and landlords weather economic losses.
“It’s a great relief that passage of the bill comes ahead of a Sunday deadline, when a federal boost to unemployment benefits was set to expire,” said Greenberg.
About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.