February 27, 2021

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Votes to Pass Urgently Needed COVID Relief

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, today released a statement following the passage of H.R. 1319, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which implements President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to deliver urgently needed COVID-19 relief to struggling families:

“The coronavirus pandemic and economic crises are destroying lives and livelihoods across the country.  Tens of millions of Americans have been infected, and on Sunday, we passed the tragic milestone of having lost 500,000 lives to the virus. Over 18 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, nearly 24 million Americans are struggling with hunger with an estimated 12 million children living in households with food insecurity, up to 40 million Americans cannot afford rent and fear eviction, Over 2.3 million women have been forced to leave the workforce entirely, including nearly 1 million mothers, and eight of ten minority businesses are on the brink of closure.

“The American Rescue Plan will provide urgently needed relief to families in need. This bill puts money in people’s pockets by extending unemployment insurance, providing direct payments, protecting families from eviction and food insecurity, investing in reopening schools, and giving support to small businesses. In addition, the American Rescue Plan invests in crushing this virus by making vaccines more accessible and equitable, and targets resources to medically underserved communities, mainly Black, Brown, and communities of color, to address the disproportionate impacts of this deadly pandemic—something I have fought for since the onset of this pandemic. 

“House Democrats fought hard to also include a minimum wage increase of 15 dollars. It’s long overdue, and a majority of Americans support it. We will continue to pursue every avenue possible to raise the minimum wage. It is essential to our economic recovery. 

“I’m proud to have voted for this long overdue legislation, but we can’t stop here. Communities across the country are struggling, and it’s past time we delivered relief. I will continue fighting for recurring direct payments, unemployment insurance, funding for communities impacted most by the virus, and much, much more. Our work continues.”

To read more about the bill, click here