Langevin Votes to Advance “American Rescue Plan” to President’s Desk and Provide More than $2 Billion in Aid to Rhode Island

Mar 10, 2021

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) today voted to advance the Senate-passed version of H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The latest COVID-19 relief package follows the framework of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan.” The relief legislation designed to help the American people keep their heads above water as we battle the global pandemic, will get money into the hands of Americans with $1,400 direct payments, enhanced unemployment benefits of $300 weekly through September 6, and expanded tax credits for families with children. The package provides $350 billion to deliver aid to state and local governments reeling from the economic downfall of the pandemic, $130 billion to reopen schools safely, $21 billion for a National Vaccination Program, and $51 billion for testing and contact-tracing to keep communities safe. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 220 to 211.

“With today’s final passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, the American people should know that help is on the way,” said Langevin. “In addition to direct payments of $1,400 for Rhode Islanders, over $2 billion is heading directly to our state and cities and towns to help them mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. Rhode Islanders have waited long enough for relief, and I’m thankful my Democratic colleagues came together to deliver help during this time of great need.”

Congressman Langevin also announced that he will be hosting a telephone town hall with congressional and state government officials on Monday, March 15, at 6pm to highlight how the legislation will benefit Rhode Island communities. Those interested may register online to receive a call or dial 855-962-1080 during the scheduled time to participate in the conversation.

“The American Rescue Plan is the response we need to the COVID-19 crisis, which has shaken the core of our nation and put immense pressure on working families,” continued Langevin. “With massive investments in areas of great need for Rhode Island, this will help the Ocean State recover. From an expanded child tax credit to housing and nutrition assistance, this plan is critical to beating the virus, and I want Rhode Islanders to know how it will help. I encourage my constituents to join my telephone town hall focusing on the new relief bill on Monday, March 15, at 6pm by calling 855-962-1080.”

The American Rescue Plan Act will infuse an estimated $1.78 billion into Rhode Island in the form of state and local government aid; this includes an estimated $1.12 billion for the state, $113 million for critical state capital projects in response to the pandemic, and $542 million in aid to cities and towns. This is in addition to an estimated $690 million for schools including $415 million in support of safely reopening K-12 schools, $180 million for higher education, $93 million for childcare programs, and $3 million for Head Start.

Highlights of the American Rescue Plan Act:

  • Provides working families an additional direct Payment of $1,400 per person – bringing the total relief payment to $2,000. 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.
  • 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 6).
  • Provides over $20 billion to establish a National COVID-19 Vaccination Program and improve the administration and distribution of vaccinations.
  • 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.
  • Extends the federal supplemental benefit unemployment benefit through September 6, while keeping the benefit at the current $300 per week. It also exempts up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits received in 2020 from federal income taxes for households making less than $150,000.
  • Provides robust funding for rental assistance including $22.5 billion for emergency rental and utility assistance, $5 billion for emergency vouchers to transition those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and $100 million for rural housing.
  • Provides $10 billion for the Homeowner Assistance Fund to help address the ongoing needs of homeowners struggling to afford their housing by providing direct assistance with mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities, and other housing related costs.
  • Helps combat increasing food insecurity with key investments in SNAP, WIC, Pandemic EBT and other critical nutrition assistance programs.
  • 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.
  • Creates a new program at the Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer assistance to restaurants and bars hard hit by the pandemic with $28.66 billion in funding. $5 billion is set aside specifically for smaller establishments with less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue.
  • Includes an additional $15 billion for targeted EIDL Advances to help those who applied for relief through the SBA in 2020 but did not receive the full $10,000 grant.