Today, the House took a significant step by passing the American Rescue Plan and providing urgent relief to millions of U.S. households. This legislation will now go to the President for his signature. The bill not only extends crucial support such as increased food assistance and unemployment benefits, but also temporarily expands other programs and benefits, having the potential to cut childhood poverty in half.
The American Rescue Plan will:
- Bring financial support to individuals and families by providing:
- $1,400 direct economic impact payments to many, including U.S. citizen spouses and children in mixed-status families,
- An expanded Child Tax Credit to those with children to receive up to $300 per month per child from July through the end of the year,
- Extended $300/ week unemployment benefits, and
- An expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Provide funding for Covid-19 response efforts for vaccine distribution, testing and workforce efforts, including funding focused on access for underserved communities.
- Increase health care affordability and access by:
- Ensuring premiums are more affordable for those enrolled in the Marketplace,
- Creating pathways for those who are unemployed to access health coverage,
- Giving states the option to extend coverage to pregnant individuals for 12 months postpartum, and
- Providing additional funding for rural health care providers.
- Provide funding for rent & utilities assistance for those who are at risk of homelessness.
- Help keep food on the table by extending the 15% SNAP increase.
While we celebrate these steps forward in reducing hardship exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, please join us in taking further action to ensure that immigrant neighbors are not left behind, and to push for a $15 minimum wage. Many immigrant Nebraskans have still been excluded from economic impact payments. Congress must act to provide inclusive economic support, as well as pass positive immigration laws to create stability for essential workers, long-time residents, and whole communities. This version of the American Rescue Plan also did not include a raise in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. To take further action you can reach out to Congress on positive immigration laws & raising the minimum wage.
Thank you for your calls to Congress – your advocacy makes a difference over time. While Nebraskans will soon begin to receive these critical supports, we look forward to important next steps.