Congresswoman Maxine Waters. File Photo.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, voted to pass H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act, a landmark, life-saving bill that will provide urgently-needed resources to defeat the virus, get vaccines in people’s arms, put money into families’ pockets, return children safely to the classroom, and put people back to work. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1319 on February 27, 2021 with zero Republican support.

“With the House passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, relief is one step closer to reaching people in need, including those in my district, who have suffered greatly due to the pandemic. Having joined President Biden last month to discuss the need for this bold and strategic relief package, I know that it will help communities across California and the country by providing $1,400 direct cash payments, $20 billion in additional emergency rental assistance, $5 billion for 70,000 new housing vouchers, $10 billion in homeowner assistance, $10 billion to boost emergency medical equipment production, $10 billion for small businesses, and $15 billion for airline workers.

“To date, over half a million people in this country have died because of COVID-19 and over 28 million people have been infected. Many people are still unemployed and suffering from food and housing insecurity. It is clear that the time for action is now, and we will not be deterred from this critical mission. In order to defeat this pandemic and help families and our economy recover, we must work relentlessly to ensure as many people as possible receive the vaccine as soon as possible. This legislation will help us do that and more.

“With the bill now in the hands of the United States Senate, it is absolutely vital that Republicans do not obstruct this relief from reaching our communities or attempt to make this legislation less impactful by trying to rid it of the assistance people so desperately need. The fact of the matter is that millions of people are suffering and cannot afford for this relief to be delayed even by one extra day.

“If this legislation is not enacted now, the situation we are in could grow even more dire, with 4 million fewer jobs this year, according to Moody’s Analytics, and it could take a year longer to return to full employment. An entire group of young people could have lower lifetime earnings because they were deprived of yet another semester of school, and millions of parents, specifically mothers, could be left with no alternative but to stay at home to care for their children and suffer reduced wages and job prospects. Our economy would also face a longer recovery.

“I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that this legislation gets to President Biden’s desk and is signed into law before unemployment benefits expire.”