WASHINGTON (NEWS10) — Congressman Paul Tonko celebrated the passing of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan in the House Saturday morning, legislation that reportedly provides a lifeline to struggling American workers, families and communities, gives resources to schools to support safe in-person learning, and for the first time put a comprehensive nationwide vaccination plan in place.

“For nearly a year, this COVID crisis has wreaked havoc on our nation and its people with painful consequences that will echo in our families, businesses and communities for years to come,” Congressman Tonko said. “Past Congresses have put off doing the hard work it will take to save countless lives and rebuild our economy. Those delays and deferrals are over. With this legislation, America is taking long overdue, bold, and immediate action to support struggling workers, families, schools and communities. Tonight, the House took that strong action and voted to advance the American Rescue Plan, which builds out our national vaccination program, adds to critical services including housing, food assistance and child care for families on the brink, includes a gradual increase to a $15 minimum wage and sets the American economy on a strong path to recovery. I urge the Senate to vote on this life-saving legislation at once and help send a clear message to the American people: help is on the way.”

The American Rescue Plan Act:

  • Puts Vaccines in Arms: Mounting a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide; scaling up testing and tracing, addressing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE); and addressing health care disparities.  
  • Puts Children Safely Back in School: Making a nearly $130 billion investment in school re-opening and making up for lost learning.
  • Puts Money in People’s Pockets: Providing $1,400 in additional direct payments to Americans; delivering direct housing and nutrition assistance; expanding access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care; expanding unemployment insurance; and giving 27 million workers a raise and lift one million out of poverty by raising the federal minimum wage.
  • Puts People Back In Jobs: Securing crucial support for the hardest-hit small businesses, particularly minority-owned businesses; and providing crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.