Reaction to the U.S. Senate’s vote on the American Rescue Plan

The Senate took a critical step today, the Secretary of the Treasury’s office wrote earlier in reaction to the U.S. Senate passing the American Rescue Plan.

The Treasury department went on to say that with the economy down 9.5 million jobs since February 2020, it could be two years before the labor market simply reaches its pre-pandemic level. These high rates of job loss threaten the wellbeing of workers and their families. They may create economic scars that last well beyond the end of the pandemic.  This is why our country is in need of an ambitious relief bill to help Americans endure the final months of this crisis; to put food on the table, checks in the mail, and vaccine shots in the arm.

“With the Senate’s vote on the American Rescue Plan, the bill is one step closer to passage. Once the plan is signed into law, I am confident that Americans will be met by a strong economy when we make it to the other side of the pandemic,” Secretary Janet Yellen stated.

Over at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, made the following statements today on passage of the American Rescue Plan Act by the U.S. Senate:

“I am grateful to the U.S. Senate for passing the American Rescue Plan today to bring much-needed nutrition assistance and financial relief to millions of families struggling to pay the bills and put healthy food on the table. President Biden made this transformative piece of legislation his first priority upon taking office, and he fulfilled his pledge to the American people. If you’re a mother or father struggling to get by, who didn’t always know when or where the next meal would come from, you will rest easier tonight knowing help is on the way. The bill not only boosts SNAP benefits through September, it also increases targeted nutrition assistance to mothers and young children and expedites more nutrition aid to U.S. territories. Farmers, business owners, and workers across the food supply chain will see additional assistance to respond to market disruption, as well.

“The American Rescue Plan is historic for other reasons, namely for the transformative debt relief it provides to Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and other farmers of color. For generations, socially disadvantaged farmers have struggled to fully succeed due to systemic discrimination and a cycle of debt. On top of the economic pain caused by the pandemic, farmers from socially disadvantaged communities are dealing with a disproportionate share of COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalizations, death and economic hurt. The American Rescue Plan ensures that we get the economy on track for everyone, especially those who have been marginalized, who are hurting, who have been overlooked or shut out in the past. The U.S. Department of Agriculture stands ready to implement these important provisions once the bill clears Congress and is signed into law by President Biden.”

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