Lawson votes to pass the Biden American Rescue plan to deliver urgent relief to the American people
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson voted to pass the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to provide American families, workers and communities the additional relief they need to combat the coronavirus pandemic and strengthen the economy.
This is an essential step in Congress’ efforts to deliver comprehensive, urgently needed relief.
“Americans need to know that more help is on the way,” Lawson said. “For over a year, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis have destroyed the lives and livelihoods of so many Americans. This additional relief is necessary to speed up vaccine distribution, increase COVID-19 testing and tracing, help shuttered businesses, and help suffering families put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads.
“North Florida families and businesses have waited far too long for additional relief and they cannot afford any more delays. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to pass this legislation and meet the needs of our communities.”
The budget resolution will:
- Provide direct payments of $1,400 to each American making under $75,000, head of household filers with incomes up to $112,500, and joint filers with incomes up to $150,000;
- Create a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide;
- Provide funding for rental assistance and extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until Sept. 30, 2021;
- Provide schools with the resources they need to reopen safely;
- Expand access to affordable health care;
- Extend and expand Unemployment Insurance;
- Strengthen and expand federal nutrition programs to address the current hunger crisis.
- Save the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers; and
- Provide additional assistance to small businesses around the country to stay open and keep their employees on payroll.
This past January saw the most deaths from COVID-19 in a single month since the beginning of the pandemic. There are 9.8 million fewer jobs in the U.S. economy than there were a year ago. Retail sales have been down now for three months in a row. More than one million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, highlighting that the pandemic is still raging. Altogether, 18.3 million Americans are currently receiving some type of unemployment benefit, and 23.8 million adults are currently struggling to feed their families.
“As the bill goes to the Senate for further actions, I will continue to work to ensure that this essential legislation gets to the President’s desk to be signed before unemployment benefits expire in March,” Rep. Lawson said.
Earlier in the week Lawson and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus in Congress began working to address the nation’s urgent maternal health crisis.
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act includes 12 bills to end maternal mortality and close racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes.
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, a series of 12 bills, builds on existing maternal health legislation to address America’s maternal health crisis. Claiming at least 700 lives a year, the U.S. has the worst maternal death rate in the developed world. Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications.
The proposal makes new investments in community-based organizations, the perinatal workforce, improvements in data collection, and support for moms and babies exposed to environmental risks.
“Reducing maternal deaths in the United States must be a public health priority,” Rep. Lawson said. “Congress must work to provide evidenced-based solutions to save our moms and reduce the risks associated with childbirth.”
The Momnibus focuses on high-risk populations, including veterans, incarcerated people, Native Americans and other women and birthing people of color.