February 26, 2021

Rep. Mike Levin Statement on American Rescue Plan to Provide COVID-19 Relief

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (CA-49) will vote to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provides urgently-needed relief to address the economic and public health crises Americans are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes funding to strengthen vaccination efforts, help schools reopen safely, support small businesses, and help families make ends meet with $1,400 in direct payments, enhanced unemployment benefits, housing and nutrition assistance, and much more.

The bill also includes direct federal funding for local governments, something that Rep. Levin has pushed for throughout this pandemic to help cities in his District that have not qualified for direct aid until now. Last year, a bipartisan coalition of nine local Mayors joined Rep. Levin in calling for direct federal funding to stabilize smaller counties, cities, and towns—specifically, those with populations under 500,000. Earlier this year, Rep. Levin led a letter with the Orange County Congressional delegation advocating for this much-needed funding.

“The coronavirus continues to have devastating health and economic consequences, and the American people urgently need this relief to make ends meet and beat the virus,” said Rep. Levin. “The American Rescue Plan includes more resources for schools so we can get kids back in the classroom quickly and safely. It includes $1,400 direct payments and other relief to help families make rent, feed their kids, and pay their bills. It includes funding to help small businesses survive and keep people on the job. And most importantly, it includes immediate investments in vaccine distribution to limit the spread of this virus and save lives. I’m also glad that smaller cities in my District will finally receive the federal funding they need to keep public servants on the jobs and maintain essential services. I hope the Senate passes this bill quickly so we can get this relief to the American people as soon as possible. Then we must turn our attention to long-term economic recovery that creates jobs by investing in our infrastructure, combatting the climate crisis, and more.”

Key highlights from the American Rescue Plan:

For public health:

  • $20 billion to establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program and strengthen the distribution of vaccines, including:
    • $7.5 billion for the CDC to prepare for, promote, distribute, monitor, and track COVID-19 vaccines.
    • $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 vaccines, therapeutics, and ancillary medical products for COVID-19.
    • $1 billion for the CDC to undertake a vaccine awareness and engagement campaign
  • $47.8 billion for testing, contact tracing, and mitigation.  These activities include implementing a national strategy for testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and mitigation; and the manufacturing, procurement, distribution, and administration of tests, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies necessary for administration of the tests. 
  • $7.7 billion to establish, expand, and sustain a public health workforce.
  • $27 billion for addressing health disparities and protecting vulnerable populations, including $7.6 billion to support COVID-19 response at community health centers.
  • $4 billion to expand mental and behavioral health services.

For individuals and families:

  • $1,400 direct payments for 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.
  • Extends the federal supplemental unemployment benefit through August 29 and increases the monthly supplemental benefit from the current $300 per month to $400 per month.
  • $26 billion in rental assistance
    • $21.2 billion for emergency rental and utility assistance to states, territories, counties, and cities to help stabilize renters during the pandemic, and help rental property owners of all sizes continue to cover their costs.
    • $5 billion for emergency vouchers to transition those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, and victims of human trafficking to stable housing.
  • $10 billion for the Homeowner Assistance Fund that allocates funds to states, territories, and tribes to address the ongoing needs of homeowners struggling to afford their housing due directly or indirectly to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing direct assistance with mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities, and other housing related costs.
  • 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 $39 billion through the Child Care and Development Block Grant for child care providers as the country reopens and provides financial relief for families struggling to cover tuition.
  • Extends SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent through September 30, 2021 and provides $1.1 billion in additional SNAP administrative funds to states to help meet the demand of increased caseloads.

For schools:

  • Nearly $130 billion to help K-12 schools reopen safely with resources for repairing ventilation systems, reducing class sizes and implementing social distancing guidelines, purchasing personal protective equipment, and hiring support staff to care for students’ health and well-being.
  • Nearly $40 billion for institutions of higher education to help make up for lost revenue due to the pandemic. 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.

For small businesses:

  • $7.25 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and expands eligibility of 501(c) nonprofits of all sizes and types, except for 501(c)4 lobbying organizations.
  • Provides $25 billion for a new program at SBA to offer assistance to restaurants and bars with 20 or fewer locations that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
  • $15 billion for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advances to help those who applied for relief in 2020 but did not receive the full $10,000 grant.

For local governments:

  • $350 billion in new Coronavirus Relief Funds for states, localities, the U.S. Territories, and the Tribal Governments, to help keep critical workers on the job. These critical workers include frontline health care workers, police, firefighters, transit workers, teachers, EMS, and other vital workers who help keep us safe. 
  • Estimated funding for cities in the 49th Congressional District:
    • Carlsbad - $13,376,000
    • Dana Point - $6,320,000
    • Del Mar - $812,957
    • Encinitas - $8,878,000
    • Oceanside - $33,412,000
    • San Clemente - $8,876,000
    • San Juan Capistrano - $6,759,000
    • Solana Beach - $2,502,000
    • Vista - $26,675,000