American Rescue Plan: Urgent Response to Devastating Crisis for the Hardest Hit

The following is a statement from Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Washington, DC, March 6, 2021—Today’s passage of the American Rescue Plan of 2021 by the U.S. Senate is a critical and urgent response to the devastating crisis faced by tens of millions of Americans as a result of the ongoing pandemic and recession. The bill 1) helps the hardest-hit children and young people through the expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit provisions; 2) extends and expands lifelines to more workers and their families through stimulus payments, extended unemployment insurance benefits, and crucial supports for health care, nutrition, and housing; 3) helps an estimated 2.2 million American children living in mixed-status immigrant households who were excluded from previous relief; and, 4) building on the previous package, secures a total of $50 billion that is urgently needed to stabilize the child care sector, devastated by the recession and pandemic and crucial to restarting the economy and restoring economic security to families, particularly families of color. We appreciate the commitment by President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Schumer to achieve passage of these crucial provisions.

The bill will be sent back to the U.S. House of Representatives where it is expected to pass. We urge immediate final passage and enactment of the legislation. With unemployment benefits about to expire and families experiencing a crisis of need, these benefits must flow immediately to meet basic needs.

Following enactment of the American Rescue Plan, we look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration and legislators on the next step, securing the investments needed for a full, inclusive economic recovery. That economic recovery package must include robust investments in workforce opportunities, including a large-scale subsidized jobs program that targets youth and adults who have been marginalized, displaced, left out, or left behind in our economy. It must also target the care economy, particularly through permanent paid family and medical leave and affordable, quality child care, in order to build a just, equitable, and stronger economy for working families and all of us.