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Pallone Applauds House Passage of American Rescue Plan

February 27, 2021
Press Release
The legislative package includes provisions to expand COVID-19 vaccines, provide another round of direct payments, and deliver aid to state and local governments

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan:

“Early this morning, the House passed an American Rescue Plan that struggling families desperately need to help stay afloat during this ongoing public health and economic crisis.

“This legislation implements a national plan to crush the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides the tools and resources we need to ramp up distribution and administration of lifesaving vaccines and testing to track and trace new hotspots before they become larger outbreaks.  The bill expands access to quality, affordable health care coverage to millions of Americans who lack access to care in the midst of the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan also includes vital assistance to help families keep the lights on, the heat working, the water running, and to expand internet connectivity to help students and teachers without home internet access.

“This bill will deliver critical aid to state and local governments in New Jersey that have been hit hard by this pandemic and face devastating budget shortfalls that threaten vital day-to-day programs and the dedicated public servants who provide them. First responders, teachers, and public servants across our state are risking their lives to serve our communities. They deserve our support.

“The House’s decisive action meets the urgency of this moment, and I’m hopeful we can send the American Rescue Plan to President’s Biden’s desk for signature soon.”

The American Rescue Plan provides critical funding to speed up vaccine distribution and administration and to increase COVID-19 testing and contact tracing with:

  • Over $20 billion to establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program and improve the administration and distribution of vaccinations
  • $51 billion for testing, contact tracing, and mitigation
  • $27 billion to address health disparities and protect vulnerable populations

The American Rescue Plan also helps hardworking families by:

Providing additional direct payments of $1,400 per eligible person using the same income threshold as the December legislation to determine which individuals receive the full $1,400 payment. Under the bill, single filers with incomes up to $75,000, head of household filers with incomes up to $112,500, and joint filers with incomes up to $150,000 will receive the full payment of $1,400.

Extending unemployment benefits through August 29 and increasing the weekly supplemental benefit from the current $300 per week to $400 per week.

Gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025 and guaranteeing that tipped workers, youth workers and workers with disabilities are paid the full federal minimum wage – increasing wages for at least 27 million American workers.

Extending SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) maximum benefits by 15 percent through September 30, 2021.

Helping struggling families pay their energy and water bills with $5 billion for home energy assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and $500 million in additional funds for the Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program.

Expanding internet connectivity for students and teachers without internet access by allocating $7.6 billion to schools and libraries to purchase equipment such as hotspots, internet service, and computers on behalf of students and patrons and ensuring schools and libraries can quickly access this critical funding by relying on the Federal Communications Commission and its E-rate program to administer the funds equitably.

The American Rescue Plan would deliver critical state and local aid to New Jersey, including an estimated:

  • $6.483 billion for New Jersey’s state government
  • $3.564 billion for New Jersey’s local governments

Click here for a complete breakdown of estimated funding for cities and towns in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District.

The American Rescue Plan also supports small business and non-profits by:

  • Increasing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and expanding eligibility to ensure it reaches nonprofits of all sizes and types. The bill includes $7.25 billion in additional funding for PPP and expands eligibility of 501(c) nonprofits of all sizes and types, except for 501(c)4 lobbying organizations.
  • Helping live entertainment venues with an additional $1.25 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program. 
  • Creating a Restaurant Revitalization Fund with $25 billion for a new program at SBA to offer assistance to restaurants and bars with 20 or fewer locations that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan allocates the resources our schools need to safely re-open by:

  • Delivering funding to help K-12 schools re-open safely with an estimated $2.9 billion for New Jersey’s K-12 school districts for immediate and long-term relief so they can work with public health experts to safely re-open schools and make up for lost time in the classroom.
  • Funding support to colleges and universities, including an estimated $895 million for higher education institutions in New Jersey to help make up for lost revenue due to the pandemic.