American Rescue Plan Is Needed Now

Caraline Feairheller
February 12, 2021

In the face of multiple crises, President Biden and Congress have a moral responsibility to quickly deliver another COVID-19 relief package to prevent more needless suffering. Nearly a year into the pandemic, the nation continues to face high unemployment rates, food insecurity, and limited access to health care and safety net programs, and it is clear that communities of color are hardest hit by negative impacts of COVID-19. The sinful legacy of structural racism has led to Black, Latinx, and Native American individuals disproportionately contacting the virus and dying. This racial disparity must be addressed in our legislation and our nation’s vaccine distribution. NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice calls on Congress to quickly pass the American Rescue Plan in order to support families, protect our communities, and revitalize our nation.

NETWORK applauds House and Senate Democrats for their February 5, 2021 vote to adopt a final budget measure, which will allow Congress to pass the next COVID-19 relief package through the budget reconciliation process by requiring only 50 Senate votes instead of 60. Using the reconciliation process allows Congress’s Democratic Leadership to push forward bold and urgent COVID-19 relief with or without Republican support.

As COVID-19 deaths continue rising, all members of Congress expressing concerns about COVID relief should keep in mind that more than two-thirds of Americans support this COVID-19 response package, including strong support for $1,400 emergency payments and raising the minimum wage. Across the country, people navigating these unprecedented health and economic crises know what is needed for their families and their communities.

In the coming weeks, Congressional committees will be meeting to decide the specifics of the next relief package with the goal of bringing the package to the House floor by Monday, February 22. The latest extension of expanded unemployment benefits will expire on March 14, 2021, so it is of the upmost importance  that the American Rescue Package is passed before the aid ends.

In order for the American Rescue Plan to uphold the dignity of each person, NETWORK asks that it:

  • Provide an $1,400 emergency payment and a robust, refundable Child Tax Credit and expanded Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Extend expanded COVID-19 unemployment payments and increased SNAP benefits
  • Fund emergency housing programs and rent and mortgage assistance
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15
  • Fund equitable vaccine distribution
  • Protect people who are incarcerated from coronavirus

Download the full list of NETWORK asks in the next COVID-19 relief package.

Don’t miss your chance to advocate for the American Rescue Plan with NETWORK. Text “JUSTICE” to 877-877 to sign up for NETWORK’s text alerts.