Ruppersberger Supports $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Package
(Washington, DC) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) early this morning voted in support of legislation providing an additional $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief funding, including an estimated $3 billion for Maryland schools, colleges and childcares as well as nearly $3.9 billion for our state and local governments. The “American Rescue Plan” passed in a vote of 219 - 212 and now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
The legislation aims to address both the ongoing health crisis caused by the global pandemic as well as the long-term economic fallout. Tens of millions of Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 500,000 Americans have now died. Meanwhile, more than 18 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits and countless businesses have shuttered or are on the brink of closure.
Economics believe the American Rescue Plan can restore the economy back to near full employment in just over a year, creating about 7.5 million jobs in 2021 alone. Without it, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates it will take at least three years before employment returns to pre-pandemic levels.
“When it comes to stamping out COVID-19 and rebuilding our economy, now is not the time to pump the brakes,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “This historic crisis requires bold, aggressive action while the risk of doing too little could be catastrophic. I believe we will see a return on this investment while saving lives and livelihoods.”
“Many state and local governments are in dire straits as they face unprecedented revenue shortfalls and unforeseen expenses related to COVID-19, including vaccine distribution,” said Congressman Ruppersberger, a former Baltimore County Executive. “This infusion of resources will enable them to keep police, firefighters and teachers on the payroll, maintain roads and provide other critical services.”
The American Rescue Plan is focused on putting money directly into the pockets of American families, accelerating the vaccination effort, returning children to classrooms safely – and keeping them there. It includes:
- $20 billion to continue vaccine development, manufacturing and purchasing as well as create community and mobile vaccination centers;
- $350 billion for state and local governments, which are primarily responsible for distributing the vaccine and providing our frontline response to the pandemic;
- $210 billion to help schools, colleges and childcare centers open safely, stay open and make up for lost learning time;
- Stimulus checks of $1,400 per person for most Americans plus an extension of unemployment benefits;
- $47.25 billion for small business grants and re-upping the Paycheck Protection Program;
- A federal minimum wage increase.