Help is here. Direct payments. Business aid. Vaccines.

The American Rescue Plan is now law. Help is here and we are on the road to recovery.

This law provides $1,400 direct payments to the majority of American households, extends unemployment benefits, cuts child poverty rates in half, sends children safely back to school, invests billions of dollars towards vaccine distribution, expands COVID testing and aids struggling businesses.

I was proud to vote for the American Rescue Plan and know it will help residents of Southwest Connecticut and millions of families recover from the pandemic. Approximately $10 billion in relief will come to Connecticut, with over $550 million in aid directly to towns and cities in the Fourth District.

There is a lot of misinformation out there, so I want to share what’s really in this bill:


Aid for individuals:

  • $1,400 direct payments to 85% of American households
  • Extended $300 federal unemployment benefits through September
  • Extended Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for workers normally not covered by regular unemployment, like self-employed and gig workers
  • Waived federal income taxes for the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits
  • Increased emergency rental assistance, homeowner assistance and utility assistance
  • Adjusted Affordable Care Act subsidies
  • Provided assistance for 100% of COBRA continuation of coverage through September 

Aid for families and children:

  • Expanded child tax credit to $3,000 for children older than six and $3,600 for children under age six 
  • Increased amount of child care expenses eligible for tax credits
  • Over $1 billion in funding to safely reopen schools in Connecticut 
  • $7 billion to expand broadband access to ensure all students have reliable internet access across the country
  • $39 billion to reduce child care costs and increased pay and benefits for child care workers — the most significant child care investment since World War II

Vaccine distribution, testing and safety measures:

  • Administered COVID-19 vaccines at an accelerated pace. There will be enough doses of the vaccine for every American by May 31.
  • Expanded testing through $7.5 billion for FEMA to establish vaccination sites nationwide
  • $7.5 billion for the CDC to prepare, monitor, administer and track vaccinations
  • $47.8 billion to HHS to detect, diagnose, trace and mitigate the spread of COVID-19
  • $7.6 billion to HHS to expand and maintain our frontline health workers

Help for businesses and municipalities:

  • Almost $30 billion in a Restaurant Revitalization Fund to help restaurants recover lost revenue and pay costs not covered under PPP
  • Increased funding for the Economic Industry Disaster Loan Advance Program (EIDL) 
  • Re-established the State Small Business Credit Initiative
  • Expanded eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with a focus on small businesses and businesses who need help the most
  • Funding for educational and entertainment venues, like theaters and museums
  • Funding for states and localities to keep firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers and essential workers paid

Here’s the bottom line. This law gives families and businesses a fighting chance for recovery. We’re delivering real aid to you and your family. We will continue to get through this together.


Jim

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