Representative Bera Votes to Send American Rescue Plan to President Biden’s Desk for Signature Into Law
WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) released the following statement after voting for final passage of the American Rescue Plan, which now heads to President Biden’s desk for signature into law.
“With over 500,000 lives lost, over 18 million Americans unemployed, and millions more hungry and without proper housing, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the crisis of our lifetimes,” said Representative Bera. “The American Rescue Plan will make a real difference for Sacramento County families and small businesses. This transformative legislation will get vaccines into the arms of more Americans, help return students safely back to the classroom, and put our economy back on a road to recovery. President Biden and Congressional Democrats pledged to get relief to American families, and we did just that. I look forward to continue working with the Biden Administration and my colleagues to meet our country’s challenges head on.”
The American Rescue Plan will:
- Help schools safely reopen: The legislation will make a $130 billion investment in school re-openings,
- Keep first responders, teachers, and health care workers on the job by providing $350 billion in funding to state and local governments;
- Support small businesses with expanded Paycheck Protection Program eligibility, additional funding for EIDL advance grants, and $28.6 billion to restaurants;
- Keep Americans housed with $22.5 billion in emergency rental assistance; and
- Provide economic impact payments of $1,400 for individuals.
- Establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program
Included in the American Rescue Plan are Rep. Bera-led provisions to increase funding for community health centers and vaccine awareness and education to ensure communities of color and other underserved communities are not left behind in the vaccine rollout. Community health centers serve more than 29 million people in the United States and have tested more than 8 million patients for COVID-19. More than half of those who have received COVID-19 vaccinations at community health centers are people of color, and they sometimes serve as the only option for testing and health care in a community.
Also included in the American Rescue Plan is Bera-led legislation to increase funding for genomic sequencing to detect COVID-19 variants. Rep. Bera introduced the bicameral Tracking COVID-19 Variants Act on February 4 to provide $2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control to support a robust national sequence-based surveillance program.