Press Releases

DelBene Shapes American Rescue Plan’s Focus on Families and Workers

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives, with Congresswoman Suzan DelBene’s (WA-01) support, passed the American Rescue Plan, a sweeping relief bill that will help local communities combat the COVID-19 pandemic and give additional resources to workers and families during this difficult time.

“My district, where the first known cases and deaths of COVID-19 were identified, has been combatting this virus for over a year now. Our communities need more support and this legislation shows that relief is Congress’ top priority,” said DelBene. “With a pandemic still raging and a fragile economy, this bill meets the moment of this crisis to support our workers, families, small businesses, and public health response.”

The bill includes two provisions focused on families and workers that DelBene championed:

  • Regular Payments for Families: Expands the Child Tax Credit to provide families with regular payments and makes the credit fully refundable, allowing lower-income families access to the full benefit. This provision is modeled after DelBene’s American Family Act, which would permanently expand the credit and lift an estimated 4 million children out of poverty.
  • Expanded Unemployment Assistance to Nonprofits: Nonprofits pay into unemployment differently than for-profit companies and they are receiving crushing unemployment bills during the pandemic when their services are needed in communities the most. The bill extends and increases a CARES Act subsidy for struggling nonprofits so they can pay their share of unemployment benefits and continue vital community services.

The relief package also includes:

  • An additional $1,400 in direct assistance for qualifying Americans, bringing the total to $2,000 per person with what Congress approved in December.
  • A national vaccination strategy and $160 billion to get shots out faster and improve testing.
  • An increase in enhanced federal unemployment assistance to $400 per week and extension through August.
  • $130 billion to help safely reopen our schools.
  • Expanded small business lending programs like PPP. 

The American Rescue Plan now goes to the Senate, which is expected to take the bill up in the coming weeks before the March 14 deadline for enhanced federal unemployment assistance. Any differences will have to be worked out before the legislation can be signed by President Biden.

A summary of the bill can be found here.