Rep. Sherrill Votes to Send American Rescue Plan to President Biden’s Desk
Washington, DC — Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) voted today to send the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to President Joe Biden for his signature, meaning direct pandemic relief will soon land in the hands of New Jersey families. With key measures designed to expand vaccine distribution efforts, help get kids back in school, get people back to work, support small businesses, and keep first-responders on the job, this package is a significant step forward in the effort to finally end this pandemic and address the economic and public health crisis facing New Jersey and the country.
“New Jerseyans are finally going to see the relief they’ve needed for far too long,” said Rep. Sherrill. “Communities across North Jersey have borne the brunt of this crisis and this package will go a long way in helping support our families and businesses. The American Rescue Plan provides the funding needed to get our kids back in school safely, support our small businesses, keep roofs over the heads of those struggling to make rent and mortgage payments, and bolster crucial vaccine distribution efforts that will finally get this pandemic under control. It also includes the provision I’ve fought for since last spring that will bring twice as much direct state and local funding back to NJ-11 to help keep first responders on the job, relieve the economic burden of COVID-19, and ensure essential services are maintained as the battle against the pandemic continues.”
The American Rescue Plan also includes two Sherrill-backed provisions to provide direct aid to New Jersey’s counties and municipalities and to keep healthcare affordable for working familiesby pausing the IRS clawback of Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC). Rep. Sherrill introduced the bipartisan SMART Act in 2020 to provide state and local funding and pushed leadership to keep this in the final package. Under the American Rescue Plan, counties and municipalities in the 11th District will receive an estimated $475 million in direct support, double the amount provided under the CARES Act.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes provisions that will directly help communities and people across North Jersey, including:
Support for Small Businesses
- Increases Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and expands nonprofit eligibility: Includes $7.25 billion in additional funding for PPP and expands eligibility of 501(c) nonprofits of all sizes and types, except for 501(c)4 lobbying organizations.
- Creates a Restaurant Revitalization Fund: Provides $25 billion for a new program at SBA to offer assistance to restaurants and bars with 20 or fewer locations that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
- Supports small businesses by providing $15 Billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program: Includes an additional $15 billion for targeted EIDL Advances to help those who applied for relief in 2020 but did not receive the full $10,000 grant.
Support for Working Families
- Provides working families an additional direct payment of $1,400 per person: Brings the total relief payment to $2,000 per person following the $600 payment enacted in December. Single filers with incomes up to $75,000, head of household filers with incomes up to $112,500, and married joint filers with incomes up to $150,000 will receive the full payment of $1,400.
- Extends the Federal Supplemental Unemployment Benefit of $300/week, including both the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, through September 6.
- Makes the Child Tax Credit fully refundable and increases its size for 2021: Makes the child tax credit fully refundable for 2021 and increases the annual amount from the current $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6). Currently, because the child tax credit is not fully refundable, there are 27 million American children who do not receive the full value of the current $2,000 tax credit because their parents do not earn enough money.
Support for our Students
- Provides nearly $130 billion to help K-12 schools re-open safely: Makes nearly $130 billion available to states and school districts for immediate and long-term relief including to repair ventilation systems, reduce class sizes and implement social distancing guidelines, purchase personal protective equipment, and hire support staff to care for students’ health and well-being. Ensures that 20 percent of the funding schools receive is reserved to address and remediate learning loss among students.
- Provides nearly $40 billion for institutions of higher education and requires institutions to dedicate at least half of their funding for emergency financial aid grants to students to help prevent hunger, homelessness, and other hardships facing students as a result of the pandemic.
- Provides $7.6 billion to expand internet connectivity to students and communities: Reimburses schools and libraries – central points for connectivity in many communities – to purchase equipment such as hotspots, internet service, and computers on behalf of students and patrons.
Support for Struggling Communities
- Provides $350 billion for new Coronavirus Relief Funds to help keep first responders, frontline healthcare workers, and other essential workers on the job: Provides $350 billion for new Coronavirus Relief Funds for states, localities, the U.S. Territories, and the Tribal Governments, to help keep critical workers on the job including frontline health care workers, police, firefighters, transit workers, teachers, EMS, and other vital workers who help keep us safe.
- Provides nearly $400 million for up to 12 months of retraining assistance for veterans who are unemployed as a result of the pandemic and do not have access to other veteran education benefits. Covers the cost of the rapid retraining program as well as a housing allowance for enrolled veterans.
Support for Expanded Vaccine Distribution, Testing, and Tracing
- Provides over $20 billion to establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program and improves the administration and distribution of vaccinations, including $7.5 billion for FEMA to establish vaccination sites across the country.
- Provides $51 billion to expand testing, contact tracing, and mitigation and related activities, including implementing a national strategy for testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and mitigation; and the manufacturing, procurement, distribution, and administration of tests, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies necessary for administration of tests.
Support for Housing Security
- Provides $26 billion for emergency rental assistance: $21.2 billion for emergency rental and utility assistance to states, territories, counties, and cities to help stabilize renters during the pandemic, and help rental property owners of all sizes continue to cover their costs; $5 billion for emergency vouchers to transition those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, and victims of human trafficking to stable housing.
- Provides $10 billion to help homeowners struggling as a result of the pandemic: The bill provides $10 billion for the Homeowner Assistance Fund that allocates funds to states, territories, and tribes to address the ongoing needs of homeowners including direct assistance with mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities, and other housing-related costs.
Support for Food Security
- Makes key investments in SNAP and WIC: Extends SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent through September 30, 2021, provides $1.1 billion in additional SNAP administrative funds to states to help meet the demand of increased caseloads, and allocates $800 million for WIC to support low-income women and infants.
Support for Hospitals
- Permanently restore the imputed rural floor: The bill includes a provision to permanently restore the imputed rural floor, which creates parity in Medicare payments for hospitals in so-called “all-urban” states. This will unlock millions in federal funding for New Jersey hospitals, which have been on the frontlines of the pandemic.