Beatty Highlights Huge Impact on Ohio’s Third Congressional District in American Rescue Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In advance of the U.S. Senate’s consideration of the American Rescue Plan, H.R. 1319, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) is highlighting the critical federal investments for workers, families, communities, and small businesses included in the comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill.
“The American Rescue Plan is all about meeting the moment because the lives and livelihoods of my constituents are on the line,” Beatty said. “That is why, during the bill’s consideration in the House Financial Services Committee, I helped lead the effort to provide $35 billion in homeowner and rental assistance as well as $10 billion for small business lending.” She continued, “I call on my Senate colleagues—Democratic and Republican—to act quickly on this historic piece of legislation. Central Ohio workers, families, and small businesses can’t wait any longer.
The American Rescue Plan includes:
Direct Support for Central Ohio Communities
- The bill provides $350 billion for new COVID-19 relief funds for states, localities, territories, and tribal governments, to help keep crucial workers on the job frontline healthcare workers, police, firefighters, transit workers, teachers, EMS, and other vital workers who help keep us safe. Since the pandemic began, 1.4 million of these workers have lost their jobs, due to constrained budgets caused by high expenses and reduced revenues.
- Funding breakdown for municipalities in Ohio’s Third Congressional District
- Columbus, OH: $186 million
- Franklin County, OH: $255 million
Direct Payments to Working Families & Expands Child Tax Credit
- In December, Congress enacted a COVID relief package that provided a direct payment of $600 per person, building upon the $1,200 stimulus payment from the CARES Act. The American Rescue Plan builds on that down payment, providing another $1,400 per person.
- The bill uses the same income threshold as the December legislation to determine which individuals receive the full $1,400 payment before the phase-out begins. Under the bill, single filers with incomes up to $75,000, head of household filers with incomes up to $112,500, and joint filers with incomes up to $150,000 will receive the full payment of $1,400.
- House Democrats acted to ensure that the direct payments are better targeted to those who need assistance. Under H.R. 1319, the direct payment is completely phased out for single filers making $100,000, head of household filers making $150,000, and joint filers making $200,000.
- The piece of legislation makes the child tax credit fully refundable for 2021 and increases the annual amount from the current $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age six). Currently, because the child tax credit is not fully refundable, there are 27 million American children who do not receive the full value of the current $2,000 tax credit because their parents do not earn enough money.
- Under the American Rescue Plan, parents could receive regular periodic monthly advance payment of the tax credit to ensure families have access to assistance throughout the year, rather than just at tax time. The advance payments would begin on July 1, 2021.
Immediate Economic Relief for Americans Hit Hardest
- H.R. 1319 extends the federal supplemental unemployment benefit through August 29th and increases the weekly supplemental benefit from the current $300 per week to $400 per week. The bill also extends both the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program through August 29th.
- The measure significantly expands the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces to cover more middle-class families and to be more generous for those already receiving them, for 2021 and 2022. Specifically, it removes the current cap that makes any family with income above 400 percent of the poverty level ineligible for any subsidies. Under the bill, no one will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a silver plan in the ACA marketplaces. It also provides that individuals below 150 percent of the poverty level pay no premiums at all compared to 4 percent of their income currently.
- The bill provides that any individual who receives unemployment at any point in 2021 is treated as if their income were 133 percent of the poverty level for the purposes of the ACA marketplace subsidy. As a result, they can purchase an ACA silver plan for zero premium.
- Appropriates $26 billion for emergency rental assistance for families struggling to find a safe place to live during the pandemic and another $5 billion to help families pay their utility bills.
- Extends SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent (through September 30, 2021) and secures $1.1 billion in additional SNAP administrative funds, $800 million for WIC, and $37 million to cover food shortfalls impacting low-income Americans over 60 years old. Further, the bill invests over $5 billion so that low-income families have access to school meals and food assistance during both the school year and summer months.
- The American Rescue Plan provides an additional $1 billion for states to cover the additional cash assistance that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients needed as a result of the economic crisis, and creates a $1 billion pandemic emergency fund to be distributed to the states for providing emergency assistance to low-income families with children.
- The bill stabilizes multiemployer pension plans by creating a special financial assistance program under which cash payments would be made by the PBGC to financially troubled multiemployer pension plans to ensure the plans can continue paying retirees’ benefits, thereby protecting retirees who worked for decades to earn their benefits.
Support for Struggling Small Businesses & Essential Workers
- H.R. 1319 includes $7.25 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expands eligibility of 501(c) nonprofits of all sizes and types, except for 501(c)4 lobbying organizations.
- Awards $25 billion for a new program at Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer assistance to restaurants and bars with 20 or fewer locations that have been hit hard by the pandemic. $5 billion is set aside specifically for smaller establishments with less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue. During the first 21 days, applications from restaurants owned and operated by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals will receive priority.
- Grants $15 billion for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances to help those who applied for relief in 2020 but did not receive the full $10,000 grant, and provides $10 billion to support up to $100 billion in small business financing through state, territorial, and tribal government programs. Of this amount, $2.5 billion is dedicated for support to business enterprises owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including minority-owned businesses.
- The bill provides the U.S. Department of Labor $150 million to implement COVID-19 worker protection programs and continued oversight – including at least $75 million for OSHA enforcement.
- Establishes a presumption that COVID-19 is work-related and authorizes eligibility for medical benefits, lost wages and survivor benefits for longshore and shipyard workers as well as federal and postal workers.
Aggressive Action to Speed Up COVID-19 Vaccinations and Contain the Virus
- The American Rescue Plan provides: $7.5 billion for the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) to prepare, promote, distribute, monitor, and track COVID-19 vaccines; another $7.5 billion for FEMA to establish vaccination sites across the country; $5.2 billion to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support advanced research, development, manufacturing, production, and purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and ancillary medical products; and $1 billion for the CDC to undertake a vaccine awareness and engagement campaign.
- The package also includes $51 billion to expand testing, contact tracing, mitigation and related activities.
- Further, H.R. 1319 provides a total of $27 billion to address health disparities and better protect vulnerable populations, nearly $4 billion to strengthen behavioral and mental health services, and $750 million for groundbreaking COVID-19-related research.
Providing the Resources Needed to Allow Schools to Safely Reopen
- The piece of legislation makes nearly $130 billion available to states and school districts for immediate and long-term relief so they can work with public health experts to safely re-open schools and make up for lost time in the classroom. Additionally, the package includes nearly $40 billion for institutions of higher education. Requires institutions to dedicate at least half of their funding for emergency financial aid grants to students to help prevent hunger, homelessness and other hardships facing students as a result of the pandemic. Finally, the bill provides $7.6 billion to expand internet connectivity and broadband.