Today, Congress passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. This is landmark legislation for working people that will help drive down poverty by providing long overdue relief nationwide – with $42.6 billion alone coming our way to California.
It is a vivid example of the power of organizing to improve people’s lives.
Among the deliverables:
- Public employees will remain on the job (and avoid layoffs) now that states, counties, municipalities and other local agencies will receive federal aid.
- Working families doing all they can to make ends meet will get direly needed $1,400 stimulus checks.
- Unemployment benefits have been expanded, as has access to the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as “Obamacare”) and child tax credits.
- Major funding is on the way to pay for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations that will keep us safe and, eventually, help get us out of this pandemic.
However, the bill does not include a $15/hour federal minimum wage, which millions of people across America still need. We in the Labor Movement intend to harness the momentum of this historic moment to continue the Fight for $15 until we win – and we will.
After all, President Joe Biden and 117th United States Congress took office because voters across America – including so many of us here at SEIU 721 – were determined to put working people at the top of our nation’s agenda. We wanted a very different direction for our country.
The American Rescue Plan is still a triumph for us. When President Biden signs it into law on Friday, it will prove that we, the people, can take control of our destiny together and propel our nation into a brighter, more hopeful future.