Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan:
“The American Rescue Plan is a truly progressive and bold package that delivers on its promise to put money directly in people’s pockets and decisively crush the coronavirus’s spread, which is responsible for our economic crisis. Compared to the response to the Great Recession, this package meets the scale of this unprecedented crisis, delivering the equivalent of seven percent of GDP for the coming year – exactly what economists say is needed to jumpstart our economy and the labor market. This is a crucial down payment on the $3 to $4.5 trillion in total stimulus funding needed to fully recover from this crisis.
“The Congressional Progressive Caucus worked very hard to ensure that the package that the House passed was as bold as it needed to be, keeping the thresholds for survival checks the same, including essential funding for housing, utilities, and a child tax credit that will cut poverty in half, among other provisions. The CPC also ensured inclusion of the $15 minimum wage in the House plan to continue our pressure on the Senate to pass $15. We are proud of our efforts and know that had we not passed such a bold package in the House, the resulting bill would have been far worse.
“Importantly, despite the fact that we believe any weakening of the House provisions were bad policy and bad politics, the reality is that the final amendments were relatively minor concessions. The American Rescue Plan has retained its core bold, progressive elements originally proposed by President Joe Biden and passed in the House relief package. As 24 million Americans go hungry and 40 million Americans struggle to stay in their homes, the package provides essential aid to keep people in their homes, put food on the table, reopen our schools, ensure access to childcare, keep small businesses afloat, and more.
“We remain extremely disappointed that the minimum wage bill was not included. The minimum wage remains essential policy and we must deliver on this issue. We call on the President to lay out his plan in the coming days for providing a desperately needed raise for 32 million Americans.”