Biden Plans to Propose American Rescue Plan
By PVA National Staff
President Biden has announced plans to deal with the devastating impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 20 million Americans infected by the coronavirus and almost 400,000 Americans dead from the disease, the American Rescue Plan involves an aggressive and immediate response to the virus and subsequent steps to enable the economy and the American people to recover fully from the catastrophic effects of the virus.
Among the components of the $1.9 trillion package will be:
- $160 billion in funding to mount a national vaccination program, expand testing, and implement a program to hire 100,000 public health workers.
- Funding for states to deploy strike teams to long-term care facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks–which may impede vaccination of residents and workers–and to conduct better infection control oversight.
- $30 billion in the Disaster Relief Fund to ensure sufficient supplies and protective gear, and to provide 100 percent federal reimbursement for critical emergency response resources to states, local governments, and Tribes, including deployment of the National Guard.
- Extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums and continuation of applications for forbearance on federally-guaranteed mortgages until September 30, 2021.
- Over 14 weeks of paid sick and family and medical leave for those with caregiving responsibilities related to COVID-19 or to take time to get a vaccination.
- An additional $1,400 per person in direct economic impact payments to households to supplement the $600 payment passed by Congress in December. Biden’s plan would also expand eligibility for the stimulus payments to adult dependents claimed on their parents’ tax returns.
- $20 billion to the Veterans Health Administration to account for increased usage as many veterans have lost access to private health insurance, higher overall costs, and other pandemic-related effects on VA.
At this point, the prospects for passage of the comprehensive set of proposals are unclear. However, combatting the impact of COVID-19 was a key campaign promise of candidate Biden so this is destined to be a priority of his Administration.