03.04.21

Comments On The American Rescue Plan

. . . . Leahy: Newly Released Senate Bill Adds More Than $400 Million More For Vermont Than House-Passed Version

Soon, every member of the United States Senate will have the chance to stand up and vote for, or vote against, relief for the millions of Americans who continue to struggle in the wake of this devastating pandemic.  There can be no question: while we are finally beginning to turn the page, in large part because President Biden has made relief and recovery a singular priority, millions of Americans continue to contract this virus, millions are out of work, and millions need support.  The American Rescue Plan proposal before the Senate will deliver the much needed relief so long denied.

This package will make critical investments for America and in Americans.  I have fought tirelessly, with the rest of the Vermont delegation, to ensure that it protects small and rural states like Vermont.  We secured critical fixes to the House bill that will deliver additional resources to the state government, ensuring Vermont receives what it did in the March 2020 CARES Act, and will address an inequity in the distribution of vaccine dollars from the December relief package.  The bill includes dedicated funding for rural hospitals, and invests in students’ safety as we begin to return to the classroom.  It provides a targeted round of additional support straight to qualifying Americans. And it will deliver support to the states to address shortcomings in rural communities that the pandemic has brought to bear, including the simple necessity of reliable, accessible internet access.

Every American, whether they are represented in the Senate by a Republican or a Democrat – or both – will benefit from this package.  Every American.  Delay after delay last year denied Vermonters and all Americans the essential relief they need.  Dilatory tactics have no place here, not when the country continues to struggle, and when we are on the cusp of truly getting a handle on this pandemic.  Vermonters can be confident that our state is getting its fair share in this package.  It’s time to pass it, and do for the American people what we were sent here to do – lead, and govern.

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