American Rescue Plan Puts Workers First

American Rescue Plan Puts Workers First

March 8, 2021 — With the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the Biden-Harris Administration and the Democrats in Congress are on the brink of passing sweeping legislation that puts America on the path to defeating the virus and rebuilding our economy stronger for working people and families. This is a rescue plan built from the ground up that takes direct aim at the virus and at the economic hurt across the country. The Senate approved the bill on Saturday, March 6 (with aviation PSP included) and the House is expected to vote on the bill March 9th or 10th.

Why it matters: The ARP overwhelmingly benefits those most affected by COVID, low-wage workers and middle-class Americans, laying a foundation for the economic and health recovery for everyone, particularly those most impacted by the pandemic. It’s the opposite of the Trump tax cuts, which gave $2 trillion to America’s big corporations and wealthiest families. The era of “trickle down” policy-making is over.  

Highlights from the Bill: 

  • AIRLINE PAYROLL SUPPORT THRU SEPT 30. The bill includes $14 billion for airlines under the Payroll Support Program (PSP) that can ONLY be used for the pay and benefits of airline workers. Airlines are prohibited from making layoffs or furloughs through September 30, giving the country more time to get vaccinated and for flight demand to recover.

  • $1,400 CHECKS FOR 150 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS: ARP will send $1,400 checks to 158.5 million American households – the single largest direct payment to date. A typical family of four making $100,000 will get $5,600 in direct checks. This provision, championed by Democrats, is supported by 78 percent of Americans in the latest polls.

    • $1,400/person, adults, kids, and adult dependents. Full benefit up to $75K/yr singles, $150K/yr couples. Phase-outs $75-80K singles; $150-$160K couples based on 2019 tax filings; can file to get $ based on 2020.

  • CREATES $20B NATIONAL VACCINATION PROGRAM that hires more vaccinators and sets up more vaccination sites, getting more shots into arms and getting them administered faster. 

    • CUTS CHILD POVERTY IN HALF. 66 million children will benefit from an expanded child tax credit that will send monthly cash assistance to parents and caregivers. Described as a “policy revolution” by the New York Times, most Americans with children will receive monthly checks — up to $300 for young children and $250 for those over 5 — that would cut child poverty by 45 percent, and by more than 50 percent among Black families.

      • For example: Parents who are eligible for both stimulus checks and the enhanced child tax credit should see direct assistance this next year of between (depending on the age of their children) $4,400 to $5,000 per child. That’s in addition to their own $1,400 stimulus checks, plus a stimulus check for any adult dependents.
    • LOWER HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS, COVER 100% OF COBRA PREMIUMS FOR LAID-OFF WORKERS. A family of four making $90,000 could save $200 per month on premiums.

  • $350 BILLION IN STATE AND LOCAL AID to provide essential services, keep teachers, public health workers, and first responders on the job, and rehire furloughed workers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 1.4 million state and local government workers have lost their jobs since the pandemic last March.

    • $25 BILLION IN AID TO RESTAURANTS AND OTHER FOOD AND DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS to help Main Street businesses get back on their feet.

    • ENHANCED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS OF $300 PER WEEK THRU SEPT 6. Unemployed workers will have an extra $300 per week.

    • $40 BILLION FOR RENTERS, HOMEOWNERS: ARP extends tens of billions of dollars in rental and homeowners assistance that will benefit lower-income, disproportionately Black and Brown, renters and homeowners, and prevent an eviction and foreclosure crisis for workers impacted by the pandemic.

    • ASSISTANCE TO 17 MILLION LOW WAGE WORKERS: ARP expands the Earned Income Tax Credit and allows 17 million more low-income workers to qualify, including cashiers, food preparers, servers, and home health aides.

    • LARGEST CHILD CARE INVESTMENT SINCE WWII. $40B to reduce child care costs, help women who left jobs to take on caregiving, rebuild small child care providers that were decimated by the pandemic, and increase the pay and benefits of child care workers.
  • PENSION SUPPORT FOR RETIREES: A longtime labor priority, the ARP provides billions to shore up the retirement benefits of more than ten million Americans in underfunded multi-employer pension plans, laying a foundation that will enhance the retirement security for all working Americans.


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