Spanberger Votes to Send Major COVID-19 Relief Package to President Biden’s Desk

The American Rescue Plan Act includes Support for Improved COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing Efforts, Another Round of Direct Payments for Virginians, Relief to Small Businesses & Restaurants, and Extended Unemployment Insurance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after voting with a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the American Rescue Plan Act, a COVID-19 relief package that will directly benefit Central Virginia families, healthcare providers, schools, and businesses.

“Nearly one year after the virus first arrived in the Commonwealth, we’ve built momentum in Virginia and across the country in our fight against the virus and in our economic recovery. This legislation provides a major vehicle for maintaining this momentum.

“The American Rescue Plan Act passed in the House today includes much-needed assistance for vaccine distribution, schools, small businesses, and Virginia families. In response to the financial challenges faced by working parents, the legislation prevents unemployment insurance from expiring in just a few days, provides one-time direct payments to individuals and families, and expands the Child Tax Credit — so that Virginia families will receive an extra boost as we accelerate the fight against the virus. I’m also encouraged that the American Rescue Plan Act establishes a new Restaurant Revitalization Fund to support family-owned restaurants as they work towards inviting customers back in the coming months. I’ve directly heard from many Central Virginia restaurant owners about the hardships they’ve faced throughout the pandemic.

“This strong, coordinated effort to protect our most vulnerable, reopen our businesses, and get our children fully back to school is a wise investment in our post-COVID-19 future. We are making progress, but we need to keep our foot on the gas. I look forward to President Biden signing this legislation into law as soon as possible.”

BACKGROUND

The American Rescue Plan Act includes many priorities for Central Virginia — such as additional funding for COVID-19 vaccination and testing efforts, support for local restaurants and small businesses, extended unemployment insurance,  and direct payments to individuals.

The American Rescue Plan Act contains several provisions to support Central Virginia communities, including:

  • Strengthening funding for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing: The relief package includes billions of dollars in additional funding for COVID-19 vaccination and testing efforts — including more than $20 billion in additional funding to establish a national vaccination strategy to improve the administration and distribution of vaccinations in Virginia and across the country. Additionally, the legislation provides an extra $49 billion to expand testing, contact tracing, and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Supporting Central Virginia small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and new supports for restaurants and bars. The American Rescue Plan Act includes an additional $7.25 billion in PPP funding and extend eligibility of nonprofits — excepting certain organizations including 501(c)4 lobbying organizations. Additionally, the emergency relief package would create a Restaurant Revitalization Fund through the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide $25 billion in assistance for restaurants and bars with fewer than 21 locations — with $5 billion set aside for smaller establishments that had less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue.
  • Extending unemployment insurance: The American Rescue Plan Act would extend both the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) through September 6, 2021. Both programs are set to expire on March 14, 2021. Additionally, the legislation would extend the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) through September 6, 2021, and it would exempt up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits received in 2020 from federal income taxes for households making less than $150,000.
  • Providing emergency rental assistance to working families. The legislation would provide $21.55 billion for emergency rental and utility assistance to states, counties, and cities to ensure families can remain in their homes, stabilize renters, and protect rental property owners.
  • Increasing the Child Tax Credit for Virginia parents. The American Rescue Plan Act would make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for 2021 and increase the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child ages six to 17, making 17-year-olds qualifying children for the year. The credit would be $3,600 for children under age six.
  • Delivering direct payments. The legislation includes additional direct payments for working families and individuals in Virginia. The American Rescue Plan Act would provide additional direct payments — or “stimulus checks” — of $1400. Under the bill as currently written, 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 would receive the full payment of $1,400 per person.

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