Big Wins For Democrats In COVID Relief Plan

Yesterday, the Senate passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, getting us a huge step closer to one of the most consequential – and most progressive – pieces of legislation in American history.

At a moment in which the American people are facing dual health and economic crises, this package will get economic relief to the families who need it the most – but it won’t stop there. Biden’s plan will also make a real difference in the lives of regular Americans by creating jobs, providing economic relief, and defeating this virus.

  1. DIRECT PAYMENTS TO 158.5 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS: ARP will send $1,400 checks for 158.5 million American households – the single largest direct payment to date. A typical family of four making $100,000 will get $5,600 in direct checks.

  2. UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENDED THROUGH AUGUST: ARP extends unemployment insurance for around 11 million Americans who would otherwise start losing benefits next week – and protecting them from surprise tax bills.

  3. TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR RENTERS, HOMEOWNERS: ARP extends tens of billions of dollars in rental and homeowners assistance that will benefit lower-income, disproportionately Black and Brown, renters and homeowners.

  4. $39 BILLION FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS: ARP helps working and middle-class families struggling to juggle child care and work by providing money to reopen schools safely and get vaccines in arms, so kids can return to school and parents can go back to work. This includes the most significant investment in American child care since World War II.

  5. 66 MILLION KIDS WILL BENEFIT FROM CHILD TAX CREDIT: ARP lifts 11 million people out of poverty and cuts child poverty in half, including through a historic expansion of the child tax credit that will benefit 66 million kids across our country.

  6. EITC EXPANDED TO 17 MILLION WORKERS: ARP expands the Earned Income Tax Credit to 17 million low-income workers.

  7. HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS LOWERED, 100% OF COBRA PREMIUMS COVERED FOR LAID-OFF WORKERS: Significantly reduces health insurance premiums for millions of American families. A family of four making $90,000 could see their monthly premium come down by $200 per month.

That’s why President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is being lauded as the boldest, most ambitious economic package in recent history. 

Senator Bernie Sanders: “As Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, I am proud that we passed the American Rescue Plan, which, in my view, is the most significant piece of legislation to benefit working families in the modern history of this country.”

Senator Chris Murphy: “Little noticed but super important provision of the #AmericanRescuePlan: It dramatically lowers premiums for ACA health plans. Caps premiums at 8% of income, no premiums for anyone 150% of poverty or below. That’s HUGE. And so important in the middle of the pandemic.”

Erza Klein: “I’m open to counterexamples, but this still looks like the most ambitious and progressive economic package congress has passed in my lifetime. It will do more to cut poverty, and push full employment, than anything else I’ve covered.”

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DNC on 56th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison released the following statement on the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday:

“56 years ago, the late John Lewis led hundreds of activists across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Their mission was simple: to demand the full voting rights they deserved and to force our nation to live up to its founding ideals. The brutality they endured on that bridge was broadcast across the country in black and white. Those images are etched in our national conscience: flying fists and billy clubs, tear gas and baseball bats. Ultimately, the bravery they showed and the blood they shed led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — and a little over half a century later, we are still fighting to defend their legacy against a Republican onslaught of voter suppression measures designed with communities of color in mind.

“Democrats won’t let this stand, which is why our members in the House just passed the For the People Act. Our party believes democracy works better when more people can make their voices heard, not fewer. We know that the right to vote is the right that protects all others — that it is the core of our democracy. So we must keep fighting. We must keep marching. We must heed the everlasting call of John Lewis and protect the right to vote for every American, no matter their race or background.”

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Economists, Experts, Lawmakers Praise Passage of Biden’s ‘Historic,’ ‘Bold,’ and ‘Transformative’ COVID Relief Plan

Following the passage of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan in the Senate, economists, experts, and lawmakers praised the “transformative” and historic piece of legislation. 

From Senator Sanders, to Senator Warren, to Paul Krugman, read their praise of highlights of the package that will create 7 million jobs, cut child poverty in half, make health care more affordable, and save lives and livelihoods. 

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is being lauded as the boldest, most ambitious economic package in recent history. 

Erza Klein: “I’m open to counterexamples, but this still looks like the most ambitious and progressive economic package congress has passed in my lifetime. it will do more to cut poverty, and push full employment, than anything else I’ve covered.”

Ezra Klein in the New York Times: “The American Rescue Plan is a bolder, more progressive, economic package than anything a Democratic president has proposed since L.B.J. But it is not, for now, a polarizing package. It’s less polarizing even than Biden, who only polls at 12 percent among Republicans. You could chalk that up to its popular component parts, but the Affordable Care Act’s individual policies were popular, too, and the bill polled at around 40 percent. You could say it’s the coronavirus crisis, but coronavirus policy is sharply polarized. I suspect Biden’s calmer approach to political communication is opening space for a bolder agenda.”

David Dayen in the American Prospect: “It’s a bill that creates, as its predecessor legislative efforts did, a pop-up safety net for those struggling in the COVID-19 crisis. And it puts a down payment on reversing 40 years of inequitable treatment for the middle class in America.”

Washington Post’s Jeff Stein: “The new Senate plan does not reduce the anti poverty impact of Biden’s stimulus, Columbia researchers @ZParolin tell me & @byHeatherLong. At either $400 or $300 of UI, official poverty rate drops from 12.3% to 8.3% under Democratic plan.”

New York Times’ Paul Krugman: “The great bulk of the proposed outlays will go to extremely worthy causes — shots in arms, reopened schools, sustaining the unemployed, avoiding cuts in crucial services, and more. Compared with real-world bills of the past, this one is amazingly good”

Experts are also noting that Biden’s plan continues to be overwhelmingly supported by the American people, making it “one of the most popular pieces of major legislation in American history.”

Historian Heather Cox Richardson: “The intense opposition to this measure from Republican lawmakers illustrates a gulf between them and ordinary Americans, including their own voters. The American Rescue Plan is wildly popular. A poll from Morning Consult says that a whopping 77% of Americans support the bill, including 59% of Republicans, making it one of the most popular pieces of major legislation in American history.”

And while Senate Republicans tried to delay the passage of benefits and payments Americans need, Democratic Senators kept their promise to deliver relief to working families. 

Senator Ed Markey: “We are still up and fighting for a bold relief package that meets the scale of this crisis and will do whatever it takes to deliver for the American people.”

Senator Sherrod Brown: “Do not lose sight of this fact: We are on the cusp of passing the most transformative relief bill in our nation’s history. When we pass the American Rescue Plan, we’ll keep our promise to the American people to defeat this virus and improve people’s lives.”

Senator Bernie Sanders: “As Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, I am proud that we passed the American Rescue Plan, which, in my view, is the most significant piece of legislation to benefit working families in the modern history of this country.”

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Declaración del DNC sobre el voto en el Senado del plan de rescate económico

El presidente del Comité Nacional Demócrata Jaime Harrison emitió la siguiente declaración:

“El pueblo estadounidense votó por líderes que brindarían el alivio que necesitan para enfrentar esta pandemia y la crisis económica – y no olvidarán que los demócratas respondieron a su reclamo de ayuda. Los demócratas del Senado se unieron para aprobar el plan de rescate económico del presidente Biden, un proyecto de ley de ayuda que incluye: pagos directos a los estadounidenses, beneficios de desempleo ampliados y extendidos, fondos para la distribución de vacunas, fondos para reabrir escuelas de manera segura y asistencia para pequeñas empresas. Este plan cuenta con un amplio apoyo bipartidista del público y de oficiales estatales y locales de ambos partidos en todo el país. Sin embargo, mientras existe la necesidad en nuestro país y la gente está sufriendo, los republicanos en el Congreso una vez más intentaron interponerse en el camino para ayudar al pueblo. La diferencia no podría ser más clara: los demócratas continuarán con la lucha para poner fin a esta pandemia y para reconstruir mejor que antes.”

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DNC on Senate Democrats Passing COVID Relief Bill

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison released the following statement:

“The American people voted for leaders who would deliver the relief they need to weather this pandemic and economic crisis — and they won’t forget that Democrats answered the call for help. Senate Democrats just came together to pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a relief bill that includes: direct payments to Americans, expanded and extended unemployment benefits, funding for vaccine distribution, funding to safely reopen schools, and assistance for small businesses. This plan has broad bipartisan support from the public, and from state and local officials of both parties across the country. And yet, while our country is in need and folks are hurting, Republicans in Congress once again tried to stand in the way of helping the American people. The contrast couldn’t be clearer: Democrats will continue the fight to end this pandemic and to build back better.”

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Republican Party Is Engulfed In Civil War — Neither Side Is Fighting For Working Americans

The Republican Party is still engulfed in a divisive civil war and, despite their claims of being the working-class party, neither side is fighting for working Americans. Trump continues to attack Mitch McConnell and plans to seek revenge against fellow Republicans, while congressional Republicans have no policy agenda and are seemingly united on nothing but opposition to delivering checks and benefits to working Americans in need.

Trump blasted Mitch McConnell and the NRSC in a statement yesterday, calling McConnell the most unpopular politician in the country.

TRUMP: “Even more stupidly, the (NRSC) spent millions of dollars on ineffective TV ads starring Mitch McConnell, the most unpopular politician in the country, who only won in Kentucky because President Trump endorsed him. He would have lost badly without this endorsement.”

Trump is still planning to seek revenge by primarying Republicans and even wants to crack down on Republicans using his name to fundraise.

Politico Playbook: “Sources tell Playbook that McCarthy has been trying to persuade Trump not to seek revenge against 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the former president — members who could be critical to McCarthy’s bid to retake the House and become speaker. Not only has Trump refused to commit, he has publicly repeated his vow to primary those incumbents. That’s not all. Trump and his new campaign team are also cracking down on the use of the president’s name for fundraising — a huge draw attracting small-dollar donors. Three sources told us that Trump, who made his fortune licensing his name, has felt burned and “abused” by the GOP bandying about his name to haul in money.”

The Republican Party stands for nothing and, despite their claims of being the working-class party, has done nothing to help working Americans.

MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin: “Not a single Senate Republican voted to proceed on the American Rescue Plan.”

New York Times: “Republicans have entered a sort of post-policy moment in which the most animating forces in the party are emotions, not issues.”

New York Times: “Republicans, they said, were accelerating their transformation into the party of Sam’s Club rather than the country club. But since then, Republicans have offered very little to advance the economic interests of blue-collar workers. Two major opportunities for party leaders to showcase their priorities have unfolded recently without a nod to working Americans.”

Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “Instead of screeching that they are victims of the ‘cancel culture’ or flogging ‘bipartisanship,’ they might seek to compete with Democrats on addressing the real needs of voters. After all, isn’t the Republican Party now supposed to be the working-class party? If so, they need a new agenda.”

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DNC Chair: Republicans Can Delay All They Want, But Democrats Will Deliver — Come Hell Or High Water

Republican senators are pulling out all the stops to try to delay Americans from getting the direct payments and benefits they need, and overwhelmingly support. In a video message yesterday, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said that Republicans can delay all they want, but Democrats will deliver for the American people, come hell or high water.

In a video message, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison declared that Democrats will deliver for the American people — come hell or high water.

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison: “We are going to deliver for the American people… this bill is going to get done, hell or high water. So they can delay all they want, but this money and the resources are going to go to the states.”

Senate Republicans plan to pull out all the stops to try to delay struggling Americans from getting the help they desperately need.

The Hill: “GOP pulling out all the stops to delay COVID-19 package”

Senator Mike Braun: “It’s going to go longer than it’s ever gone before.”

Senator Ron Johnson: “We need to keep this process going…I’m going to lead the effort to resist this thing.”

Senate Republicans want to delay benefits and payments that a majority of Americans continue to support as they learn more about the plan.

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Sen. Cornyn Shows How GOP is Playing Political Games Instead of Helping Americans

While Democrats are working hard to provide working families with the relief they overwhelmingly support, including direct payments to Americans and thousands of dollars in benefits working families desperately need, Republicans are playing political games. The latest example: Sen. Cornyn yesterday said Republicans plan to hold up COVID relief with tough votes so they can make TV commercials attacking Democrats. What Cornyn doesn’t get is that voters overwhelmingly support President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, and Republicans are the ones who will be held accountable for voting against it. 

Yesterday, Texas Senator John Cornyn said that as Republicans oppose President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, they plan to hold up relief to force Democrats to take tough votes to use in TV commercials.  

CNN: “‘It’s all about TV commercials,’ said Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. ‘Make people accountable for their votes.”

But the truth is there is broad bipartisan support for President Biden’s proposal — and it’s Republicans who are showing themselves to be out of touch with the American people.  

Morning Consult: “In the new survey, conducted Feb. 26 to March 1, 77 percent of all voters and 59 percent of Republicans said they supported the measure which provides direct payments to some Americans, extends enhanced unemployment benefits through July and provides funding for state and local governments as well as K-12 schools and universities.”

And unlike what Sen. Cornyn said, it’s Republicans who will pay the price for trying to stop working families from receiving the relief they so desperately need, which has overwhelming bipartisan support. 

USA Today: “More than two-thirds of Americans (68%) said that $1,400 stimulus checks should remain in the stimulus package even if it meant the bill had no support from the opposite party. Democrats have proposed a $1.9 trillion relief package that includes $1,400 stimulus checks; some Republicans have complained that that amount for checks, and the total cost of the bill, are too large. However, 53% of Republicans polled, agreed that $1,400 direct payments should be left untouched in the bill. Abou two-thirds (65%) of independents and 85% of Democrats agreed.”

Morning Consult:

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Biden Delivering Vaccines At Record Pace, Ahead Of Schedule

Over 77 million Americans have already gotten a vaccine and President Biden delivered even more good news yesterday when he announced that the United States will have enough vaccine supply to vaccinate every American adult two months ahead of schedule. President Biden is delivering on his promises, and doing it ahead of schedule. 

Yesterday, President Biden announced the United States will have enough vaccine supply for every American adult by the end of May — two months ahead of schedule. 

NBC News: “President Joe Biden said Tuesday the United States will have enough vaccines for every adult by the end of May, two months earlier than the administration had previously estimated. He said the U.S. was able to speed up the timeline under a deal with Johnson & Johnson to accelerate production of its single-dose vaccine, including an agreement in which Merck will assist Johnson & Johnson with its production, and use of the Defense Production Act to secure necessary equipment and materials.”

Biden also announced an effort to vaccinate teachers, day care workers, and other school staff to get students back to school, with a goal of providing educators with at least one shot of the vaccine by the end of March. 

The Hill: “President Biden said Tuesday he is calling on all states to prioritize teachers for COVID-19 vaccinations so that all teachers and school staff will have received at least one dose by the end of March. ‘My challenge to all states, territories, and the District of Columbia is this: We want every educator, school staff member, child care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March,’ Biden said in remarks from the White House.”

Due to President Biden’s leadership, America is taking major steps forward in the fight to combat COVID-19 and overcome the failures of the Trump administration, which included the fact that while in office, Trump received the vaccine but refused to promote it to the American people. 

CNN’s Betsy Klein: “A Kaiser Family Foundation study late last yr while Trump was still in office found vaccine hesitancy was much higher among Republicans than Dems. Publicly expressing willingness to get vaccinated back in December could have helped shape public opinion”

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New Poll Shows Same Broad, Bipartisan Support For Direct Payments Republicans Voted Against

A new poll released today once again confirms the broad, bipartisan support for the COVID relief plan every House Republican voted against. Support for what is in the plan is so strong that even when you provide a partisan framing along with the details, like providing direct payments to Americans who need it the most, an overwhelming majority of voters, including more than half of Republicans, still support it.

77% of voters, including 59% of Republicans, support the coronavirus relief plan that every House Republican voted against.

Morning Consult: “In the new survey, conducted Feb. 26 to March 1, 77 percent of all voters and 59 percent of Republicans said they supported the measure which provides direct payments to some Americans, extends enhanced unemployment benefits through July and provides funding for state and local governments as well as K-12 schools and universities.”

Even when you provide a partisan framing along with the details, like direct payments, there is still broad, bipartisan support.

Morning Consult: “The distinction mattered little. When provided the partisan framing along with the details of the proposal, 71 percent of voters — including 53 percent of Republicans — still supported it. “

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