Issue Report ● Coronavirus
For Immediate Release: 
February 19, 2021
Contact Info: 
Katie Grant Drew 202-225-3130

The United States is nearing the horrific milestone of 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19 and quickly approaching 30 million confirmed cases. As the impacts of the pandemic continue to mount, House Democrats are working closely with the Biden Administration to provide urgently needed relief through the American Rescue Plan to support American families and restore our economy.
 

BIPARTISAN SUPPORT GROWS FOR THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

A variety of polls have shown that President Biden’s American Rescue Plan enjoys bipartisan support from the American people. A recent CBS News Poll/YouGov shows 83% of Americans approve of President Biden’s plan, a Navigator Research poll said the American Rescue Plan has 72% approval nationwide – including 50% of Republicans, – and a Quinnipiac poll found 68% of Americans support the plan.

Key elements of the American Rescue Plan enjoy bipartisan support as well. For example, according to recent polling, nearly 80% of Americans support direct stimulus checks.
 

STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FACE BUDGET SHORTFALL

Republicans and the Trump Administration refused to help state and local governments during past negotiations on emergency coronavirus relief packages. State and local governments keep our law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, and other essential workers on the job. In the past year, the pandemic has caused:

  • State and local governments to shed 1.4 million jobs. [CBPP, 1/22/21]

  • A loss of 1 in 20 government jobs. [Washington Post, 2/15/21]

  • 26 states have seen declining revenues. [Washington Post, 2/15/21]

The American Rescue Plan will provide crucial funding for state and local governments after a year of record revenue shortfalls and devastating budget cuts. Leaders on both sides of the aisle continue to raise alarm over the urgent need for assistance for state and local governments:

Jeff Williams Mayor of Arlington, Texas (R): “We’re hopeful we’ll get the assistance, because it’s the right thing to do. This isn’t a red or blue issue. This is an American issue.” [The Associated Press, 2/17/21]

David Holt, Mayor of Oklahoma City (R): “Support for cities and states is way overdue.” [Washington Post, 2/14/21]

Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia (R):We have really got to move and get people taken care of and get people back on balance.” [Talking Points Memo, 2/1/21]

Letter to Congressional Leaders from the United States Conference of Mayors, a bipartisan group of over 400 Mayors: “…We urge you to take immediate action on comprehensive coronavirus relief legislation, including providing direct fiscal assistance to all cities, which is long overdue. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan contains such assistance as part of an aggressive strategy to contain the virus, increase access to life-saving vaccines, and create a foundation for sustainable and inclusive recovery…Your quick action on President Biden’s plan is a crucial step to making meaningful progress in one of the most challenging moments in our country’s history.” [1/29/21]
 

ECONOMIC IMPACTS GROW FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
AND AMERICAN FAMILIES

The coronavirus pandemic has created a deep economic crisis for American families and small businesses, which is why Democrats are moving swiftly to enact the American Rescue Plan.  

  • Almost 80 percent of Americans were unable to pay their monthly bills last month. Americans need robust economic assistance to stay afloat. According to Morning Consult, a $1,400 direct payment would help 22.6 million adults pay their expenses until July. [Morning Consult, 2/12/21]

  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis found that 2020 was the worst year for the U.S. economy since 1946, shrinking 3.5%. [Washington Post, 1/28/21]

  • Nearly 800 small businesses have closed every day throughout the pandemic. [Yelp Local Economic Impact Report, 08/2020]

  • There are over 20 million Americans total who are seeking unemployment assistance and 10 million remain unemployed. [CNBC, 2/11/21]

  • If Congress doesn’t act by March 15, an estimated 11.4 million people will lose their unemployment benefits. [The Century Foundation, 02/10/21]
     

RENTERS AND HOMEOWNERS NEED URGENT RELIEF

Renters and homeowners are experiencing significant economic distress. The American Rescue Plan will build upon important steps taken by the Biden Administration to protect renters and homeowners.

  • 30 to 40 million Americans renters are at risk of eviction and more than 200,000 evictions have taken place during the pandemic. [Washington Post, 1/20/21]

  • Polling shows that 1 in 5 adults would be homeless if they lost their current residence. [Morning Consult, 1/19/21]

  • Over 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments, and 1 in 5 renters have not caught up on rent. [CBPP, 02/16/21]
     

GIVING STUDENTS THE SUPPORT THEY NEED TO CLOSE EDUCATION GAPS

Students and teachers across the country need assistance, as inequities in student learning continue to grow. The American Rescue Plan will help communities safely reopen our schools while also boosting vaccination efforts.

  • The increasing mental strain from students is alarming, with more students suffering from worsening mental health since the pandemic began. [Washington Post, 01/21/21]

  • The average student is roughly seven months behind in learning; Latino students are nine months behind and Black students are almost a year behind. [TIME, 12/08/20]

  • According to the American Federation of Teachers, over 500 educators have died from COVID-19. [01/29/21]

House Democrats will continue to work alongside the Biden Administration and Senate Democrats to deliver critically needed relief to American families and build our economy back better.

Click here to read the PDF. 

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