Suozzi Helps Deliver Unprecedented American Rescue Plan; Offers Bold Solution to Once-in-a-Hundred-Year-Crisis
Today, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island, Queens) supported transformative legislation that will help real people defeat COVID-19, ensure economic recovery, and meet the needs of millions of New Yorkers who are struggling at no fault of their own. Video of Suozzi speaking in support of the American Rescue Plan is found here.
The American Rescue Plan will ignite a rapid recovery of the United States economy and state governments, all while helping provide millions of Americans with COVID-19 vaccines.
Specifically, the COVID-19 relief package will create a national vaccine program, reignite our economy, provide aid to state and local governments, create a targeted aid program for live venues, restaurants, and catering halls, provide aid to small businesses, issue a new round of $1,400 stimulus checks, and provide enhanced unemployment.
“A once-in-a-hundred-year-crisis demands big, bold solutions and the American rescue plan does just that. This historical effort, led by President Biden and supported by the United States Congress, will help real people who have been crushed by the virus, beat the pandemic into the ground, and ensure a rapid economic recovery,” said Suozzi. “My singular focus, throughout this entire debate, has been to deliver money to my district and our state, which was the first and hardest-hit state at the start of the pandemic. Helps is on the way.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Suozzi has been steadfast in his advocacy for federal relief that will benefit New Yorkers, their families, and their businesses. In addition, Suozzi has remained adamant that any COVID-19 relief package include desperately needed funding for state and local governments, as well as targeted aid for restaurants, live venues, and catering halls.
Background on the key provisions of the relief package are found below. A link to a graphic breaking down key funding is found here.
Provides over $20 billion to establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program and improve the administration and distribution of vaccinations, including:
- Providing $7.5 billion for the CDC to prepare, promote, distribute, monitor, and track COVID-19 vaccines.
- Providing $7.5 billion for FEMA to establish vaccination sites across the country.
- Providing $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.
State and local aid:
New York is slated to receive over $23 billion, with $12.6 billion going to the state, which will enable the state to fulfill its commitments of state aid to all of our local school districts, and $10.8 billion going to counties and other municipalities. There will be additional funding of millions of dollars for local villages as well. Actual breakdowns to come at a later date. Estimated breakdowns of money going to select counties and local governments is found below:
- Nassau County: $397 million
- Suffolk County: $286 million
- Queens County: $437 million
- City of Glen Cove: $2.9 million
- Hempstead: $84.3 million
- North Hempstead: $25.3 million
- Oyster Bay: $32.7 million
- Huntington: $21.6 million
This money will be used to cover the cost of fighting the pandemic, make up lost revenue due to the economic shutdown, keep schools safe for children, and help keep public employees like teachers, firefighters, and police officers employed.
Direct aid for restaurants, live venues, and catering halls:
A targeted grant program for struggling restaurants, catering halls, and live entertainment venues. The proposal stands at $28 billion and will be included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Under the proposal, individual restaurants or catering halls in New York could qualify for up to $10 million in aid. Of that amount, $5 billion will be reserved for restaurants making under $500,000 a year.
The grant program would be overseen by the Small Businesses Administration and would be available to food and drinking establishments that are not part of a chain or franchise operating system with more than 20 locations. Under the proposed program, restaurants could use the grants to cover payroll, mortgages or rent, set up outdoor seating, provide personal protective equipment, provide paid leave for employees, or cover other expenses that have arisen because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support for small businesses:
Provides an additional $15 billion for Economic Industry Disaster Loans – a program used to help businesses and non-profit organizations experiencing a loss in revenue. In addition, the relief package has $7.25 billion to offset the cost of expanding the Paycheck Protection Program to include non-profits and other tax-exempt groups.
A new round of direct payments of $1,400 to supplement the already-enacted $600 payments that were in the end-of-year package from 2020. This new round of stimulus checks will now apply to dependents, no matter what age. A family of four who makes less than $150k would receive $5600. The full amount begins to phase down after $75k for individuals and $150k for married couples.
In New York, over 9.8 million individuals received stimulus checks during the first distribution of checks last spring.
An extension of the temporary federal unemployment programs, which provides the per-week federal supplemental benefit of $300 until September. Without action from Democrats in Congress, pandemic-related unemployment benefits were set to expire by March 14, cutting off a crucial lifeline for millions of American workers and families.
Child tax credits:
The plan would raise the $2,000 Child Tax Credit to $3,000, set the credit at $3,600 for parents of children under the age of 5, and create eligibility for the credit available to parents with 1–17-year-olds. In addition, it would make the credit fully refundable to help benefit low-income households. For a household with a 4-year-old and 7-year-old that doesn’t earn enough to pay income taxes, the plan would boost their maximum child tax credit from $2,800 to $6,600.
$6.5 billion for Metro Transportation Authority (MTA) relief.