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Hoyer Statement on Biden's Pandemic Relief Proposal

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on the American Rescue Plan announced this evening by President-elect Joe Biden to defeat the coronavirus and provide economic assistance to families:

"Tonight, President-elect Biden unveiled his proposal to put the full weight of the federal government behind efforts to defeat COVID-19 and reopen our economy safely once he is sworn into office next week.  More than 385,000 of our fellow Americans have died from this disease, and millions are out of work and struggling to get through the economic crisis caused by this pandemic.  We cannot wait to take bold and decisive action, and the Democratic-led House is ready - as it has been since the very start of this crisis - to do its job helping to keep Americans safe and provide necessary economic relief.  

"The first step in the American Rescue Plan is addressing the public health crisis by both prioritizing getting COVID-19 vaccines to Americans as quickly and effectively as possible and improving and expanding testing so businesses and schools can begin to reopen safely.  At the same time, it will deliver relief to those facing the most difficult impacts of the pandemic.  This includes following through on his promise to deliver direct stimulus payments to Americans of $2,000, which the House approved in December before it was rejected by the Republican-led Senate.  The American Rescue Plan will support communities across the country struggling with the worst effects of the pandemic, sending needed assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to keep essential first responders on the job.  More than anything else, the President-elect’s plan focuses on those Americans who are facing the greatest hardship, extending expanded emergency unemployment insurance benefits, nutrition assistance, and the moratorium on evictions while providing rental assistance to help families stay in their homes.  I am also pleased it will allocate $9 billion to the Technology Modernization Fund, which was authorized by legislation I wrote to improve cybersecurity and help government leverage technology to speed-up the delivery of services to the public, including vaccine deployment.

"Congress and the new Biden-Harris Administration will be ready to deliver much-needed relief to the American people on day one.  This initial relief package will be only the first step, as we lay the groundwork for our economy to build back better, stronger, and more resilient than it was before, addressing disparities that led to minority communities being hit harder by this pandemic and its economic challenges.  House Democrats will continue to play a central role in ensuring that the federal government delivers the help the American people need to get through this crisis safely and access the long-term opportunities that help them get ahead."