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Jayapal Delivers Relief Package That Puts Money in People’s Pockets

Robust relief package raises the Federal minimum wage to $15, sends out $1,400 survival checks per individual plus $1,400 per child, increases the child tax credit to $3,000 per child, extends unemployment assistance, speeds up vaccine distribution, and includes nearly $7 billion in state and local funding for communities across Washington

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a member of the House Budget Committee, voted today for a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package that will deliver robust aid to millions of families across America and put money directly in people’s pockets. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes $1,400 survival checks per individual plus $1,400 per child, a larger $3,000 tax credit per child, expanded unemployment assistance, immediate investments to speed up vaccine distribution, rental and nutrition assistance, grants to small businesses, and funding for schools and child care facilities. 

Representative Jayapal led progressives in securing the inclusion of a $15 minimum wage, the first increase to the Federal minimum wage in 12 years. This would give 27 million workers — including one-third of Black workers and one-quarter of Latino workers — a raise while lifting nearly one million Americans out of poverty. The package also vastly increases state and local funding with more than $285 million for communities throughout Washington’s Seventh Congressional District and nearly $7 billion to those across the Evergreen State. Additionally, the legislation includes Representative Jayapal’s Feeding Homeless Youth During COVID-19 Act, which expands meal and snack assistance to young adults.

“Families throughout Washington and across our country have spent months desperately trying to hang on during an unprecedented public health and economic crisis that has left millions struggling to put food on the table, keep the heat on, pay the rent, and withstand this devastation,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “I am proud to have fought to ensure that this relief package puts money directly in people’s pockets by defeating restrictive efforts to lower survival check income thresholds and successfully including a $15 minimum wage. By passing aid that expands unemployment assistance, increases the child tax credit, crushes the virus by investing in vaccine distribution, supports childcare facilities and the families who depend on them, funds nutrition and rental assistance, helps small businesses, and provides robust state and local funding, we are sending a clear message to Americans everywhere that we see you, we hear you, and we are going to fight for you so our country gets through this together.” 

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes the following:

  • Survival Checks: $1,400 direct payments per individual making less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 per year for joint filers) plus $1,400 per child, including mixed-status families 
  • $15 Federal Minimum Wage: Raises the Federal minimum wage to $15/hour by 2025, the first increases in more than a decade 
  • Expanded Unemployment Assistance: Expands the current Federal unemployment benefits beyond the current March 14 expiration date, extends PUA program through August 29, and increases the monthly supplemental benefit to $400 per month
  • Child Tax Credit: Makes the Child Tax Credit fully refundable and increases its amount to $3,000 per child and $3,600 per child under the age of six; this will cut child poverty in half 
  • COVID-19 Vaccinations: Over $20 billion to establish a National COVID-19 Vaccination Program to speed up the vaccination rollout while also providing $47.8 billion for testing, contact tracing, and mitigation
  • Robust State and Local Funding: More than $6.9 billion to communities across Washington state including more than $285 million in Washington’s Seventh Congressional District, more than $437 million for King County and more than $159 million for Snohomish County, and more than $239 million for Seattle
  • Housing Assistance: $26 billion for emergency rental assistance, $10 billion to help homeowners afford their mortgage, and $5 billion for utility assistance 
  • Nutrition Assistance: Invests in food security by extending SNAP maximum benefits by 15%, providing $1.1 billion in additional SNAP administrative funds, allocates $800 million in WIC, and invests in more than $5 billion in the Pandemic-EBT program
  • Aid to Schools and Childcare Facilities: Nearly $130 billion to help K-12 schools reopen safely and $39 billion for Child Care Development Block Grants that help child care providers and make sure families can cover tuition; increases the amount of child and dependent care expenses that are eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to $8,000 for a qualifying individual and $16,000 for two or more individuals
  • Small Business Grants: Increases PPP funding and eligibility by $7.25 billion, creates a restaurant revitalization fund with $25 billion, and provides $15 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants that go to small businesses
  • Transit Assistance: Invests in transit systems by providing $30 billion to prevent, prepare, and respond to the continued threat of the pandemic
  • Broadband Assistance: Provides $7.6 billion to expand internet connectivity to students and communities