Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan – the new $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed earlier this week in the Senate, and championed by President Biden, who is expected to sign the bill Friday.
Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), made the following statement:
“I applaud Congress for passing this historic stimulus package. We need it, and this package lays out a path forward as the nation continues to grapple with the economic, public health and racial justice ramifications of the pandemic. It’s an enormous spending commitment, but the impacts from the pandemic have been staggering. The loss of lives, jobs, wealth and economic activity will not be erased with cash, but some of the day-to-day struggles will be eased. People who are out of work, and homeowners and renters who are on the cusp of losing their homes need the assistance provided in this plan, and they need it now. Struggling small businesses need help now.
“As massive as it is, this bill will not by itself get us back to normal, and normal before the pandemic was terrible for too many people anyhow. Before the pandemic, our economy was great for a handful of thriving cities but also a force for gentrification and displacement of longtime, lower-income residents in them. It was a disaster for many more communities that endured decades of disinvestment. They are now even weaker after the pandemic.
“This is a rescue plan for a nation in crisis, not a reinvention plan, and that’s what’s needed next so we can really build back better. I look forward to working with the administration and members of Congress to continue pushing forward toward a just recovery, not just a recovery. We need to aim for a nation that is stronger, fairer and more just than it was before the pandemic.”