Congressman Ritchie Torres Highlights Key Wins for New York in Historic American Rescue Plan

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Last week, Rep. Torres joined fellow Democrats to pass the landmark American Rescue Plan and send it to President Biden’s desk for his signature. Today, Rep. Torres proudly highlights the vital resources that New York families and communities will receive to crush the virus, put vaccines in people’s arms, money in people’s pockets, children safely back in school and workers back in jobs.

“Last week Congress passed $1.9 trillion of relief that is going to strengthen families and local businesses, cut childhood poverty by half and save millions of jobs. This is a huge win for the American people,” said Rep. Torres.  “I am proud to share the robust support that will soon be headed to New York families and communities.”

The pandemic and economic crisis have had a severe impact on New York:

  • Since the pandemic began, more than 1,698,819 New Yorkers have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 48,104 have died;
  • The unemployment rate in New York is 8.7%, up from 3.9% before the pandemic.
  • Since February 2020, more than 652,185 fewer New Yorkers are employed.
  • 1,673,000 adults – 13% of all adults in the state – report not having enough food to eat.  This includes 357,000 adults living with children, or 8% of all New York adults living with children, who report that the children in their household do not have enough to eat.
  • An estimated 1,326,000 renters or 22% of renters are not caught up on rent.
  • An estimated 5,311,000 adults or 38% of all adults statewide report having difficulty covering normal household expenses.

But for New York families, communities and small businesses, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods with targeted state and local relief:

  • $12.825 billion in state fiscal relief;
  • $9.948 billion in local fiscal relief;
  • More than $9.17 billion in relief for New York K-12 schools;
  • Economic impact payments of up to $1,400 per person for more than 11,344,500 adults and 4,403,300 children.  This is 82 percent of all adults in the state and 82 percent of all children in the state;
  • Additional relief of up to $1,600 per child through the Child Tax Credit to the families of 3,564,000 children, lifting 242,000 children out of poverty;
  • Additional relief of up to nearly $1,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit to 915,000 childless workers, including many in frontline jobs; and
  • Marketplace health insurance premiums that are $663 lower per month for a 60-year old couple earning $75,000 per year.

And the Biden American Rescue Plan delivers robust resources for every American:

  • Put Vaccines in Arms: The plan mounts a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide and addressing disparities facing communities of color.  It also scales up testing and tracing, addresses shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, invests in high-quality treatments and addresses health care disparities. 
  • Put Money in People’s Pockets: The plan finishes the job on the President’s promise to provide $2,000 in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December.  The plan also provides direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance, expands access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care, extends Unemployment Insurance, expands the Child Tax Credit and improves the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Put Children Safely Back in School: The plan delivers $170 billion for education and $45 billion for child care providers nationally.  This includes a $130 billion investment in K-12 school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom, with funds that can be used to reduce class sizes, modify spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improve ventilation, implement more mitigation measures and provide personal protective equipment.  The plan also provides more than $40 billion for higher education.
  • Put People Back in Jobs: The plan provides crucial support for the hardest-hit small businesses, especially those owned by entrepreneurs from racial and ethnic backgrounds that have experienced systemic discrimination, with EIDL grants, expanded PPP eligibility and more.  The plan also provides crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.

“Bronx families’ lives and livelihoods have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis. These hard-working Americans cannot afford further delay, which is why I proudly joined my colleagues to pass President Biden’s bold, strategic relief package that delivers the long-overdue resources needed to meet the needs of New York and communities and families across the country.  With tens of millions of Americans infected, more than half a million lives lost, millions more unemployed and food and housing insecure, the time for action is now, and we will not be deterred from this critical mission,” said Rep. Torres. “I look forward to continue working with my colleagues on behalf of the people of New York to ensure relief quickly reaches those most in need as we move forward to Build Back Better.”

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