Issued March 10, 2021
WASHINGTON - SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on the House passage of the American Rescue Plan:
“The American Rescue Plan provides much-needed relief for working families. This package addresses many of the health, safety and economic security needs currently faced by essential workers and their families, and will go a long way toward crushing the virus.
“After a year where over 500,000 people have died from COVID-19, and the last administration delayed and denied relief, fumbled the vaccine rollout, and ignored the inequities in our system, this legislation finally delivers desperately needed help for our frontline public service workforce and the essential services they provide for our cities, towns, counties and states. Communities devastated by COVID-19 will be healthier due to measures to require Medicaid and children’s health insurance to pay for vaccines and treatment, keep seniors, people with disabilities and the working people who care for them safe, and expand access to affordable healthcare. More people out of work during this pandemic will be able to pay rent, put food on the table and keep the lights on, and schools and colleges in every zip code will get the resources they need to re-open safely.
“This legislation respects the contributions immigrant communities make to this nation by removing barriers for stimulus checks for mixed-status families. For the first time, all U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants will qualify for the payments even if others in their families lack a social security number. Thousands of the men and women who keep our airports running and care for our children are also recognized in this relief package. The American Rescue Plan also takes critical steps in addressing child poverty including expanding the child tax credit for parents.
“We know that our work is not over and the road to recovery is long. But the American Rescue Plan is proof that elections matter, and Democrats in Congress and President Biden are committed to delivering for working families. Now we need to invest in millions of jobs, including making the caregiving jobs that have proven to be so critical and underfunded in the pandemic good union jobs. And working people know there will not be a full economic recovery without raising the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. This is the time for bold transformative solutions, not the status quo.”