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Congresswoman Escobar Votes to Pass the American Rescue Plan to Deliver Urgent Relief to El Pasoans

Early this morning, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) voted to pass H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which implements President Joe Biden’s urgently-needed American Rescue Plan, which he unveiled on January 20.

This landmark, life-saving legislation will provide urgently-needed resources to defeat the virus, get vaccines in El Pasoans’ arms, put money into hard-working families’ pockets, return children safely to the classroom, and put people back to work. 

“El Pasoans’ lives and livelihoods have been devastated by the coronavirus health and economic crisis. Our families cannot afford further delay, which is why I voted to pass President Joe Biden’s bold, strategic relief package that delivers the long-overdue resources needed to meet the needs of our community and our country,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “With almost 123,000 infections, over 2,000 lives lost, and a devastating unemployment rate of over eight percent that endangers the food and housing security El Paso families, the time for action is now. As the bill goes to the Senate for further consideration, I will continue advocating to ensure this essential legislation and its critical provisions – including a $15 minimum wage increase – gets to the President’s desk to be signed before unemployment benefits expire in March. Help is on the way and El Pasoans can rest assured that I will continue working to deliver the relief they need and deserve.” 

The American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods:

  • Put Vaccines in Arms: The plan will mount a national vaccination program that ensures the equitable distribution of vaccines and includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide. It will also take complementary measures to combat the virus, including scaling up testing and tracing, addressing shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, investing in high-quality treatments, and addressing health care disparities. 
  • Put Children Safely Back in School: The plan will make a nearly $130 billion investment in school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom. These funds can be used for such things as reducing class sizes, modifying spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improving ventilation, implementing more mitigation measures, providing personal protective equipment, and providing summer school or other support for students that help make up lost learning time this year. The plan also provides resources for higher education, Head Start and child care facilities.
  • Put Money in El Pasoan’s Pockets: The plan finishes the job on the Congresswoman Escobar and President Biden made to provide $2,000 in direct assistance to El Paso households with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December. The plan will also provide direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, expand access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care, extend and expand Unemployment Insurance so that 19 million American workers can pay their bills and supporting 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and 15 million low-wage workers through the Earned Income Tax Credit. It will give 27 million workers a raise and lift one million out of poverty by raising the federal minimum wage.
  • Put People Back in Jobs: The plan will provide crucial support for El Paso’s hardest-hit small businesses with EIDL grants, expanded PPP eligibility and more. The plan also provides crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.

An analysis prepared by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform estimates that the American Rescue Plan will provide over $16.8 billion in state funding for Texas in addition to urgently needed funding for El Paso communities:

  • El Paso County: $163 million
  • City of El Paso: $159 million
  • City of Socorro: $7.4 million
  • Town of Horizon City: $4.3 million
  • City of San Elizario: $1.9 million
  • Town of Anthony: $1.1 million
  • Village of Vinton: $440,875

An analysis prepared by the House Committee on Education and Labor estimates that the American Rescue Plan will, if the Texas Education Agency adheres to the mechanisms in this legislation, provide the following amounts to our local school districts:

  • El Paso Independent School District: $208,996,000
  • Ysleta Independent School District: $145,025,000
  • Socorro Independent School District: $115,735,000
  • Clint Independent School District: $37,795,000
  • San Elizario Independent School District: $16,668,000
  • Canutillo Independent School District: $13,460,000
  • Fabens Independent School District: $12,017,000
  • Tornillo Independent School District: $4,170,000
  • Anthony Independent School District: $2,062,000

The American Rescue Plan is strongly supported by a large majority of the American people– including 60 percent of Republicans – bipartisan state and local leaders, national education groups, trade unions and advocacy organizations, and hundreds of businesses and chambers of commerce. 

Economists agree that the American Rescue Plan’s targeted, evidence-based action is needed – both for struggling families in El Paso and across the country and for the American economy. The legislation’s provisions will generate $1.25 for every $1 of spending, will cut child poverty in half and will lift nearly 12 million people out of poverty.

If the American Rescue Plan is not enacted now, the results could be catastrophic, with 4 million fewer jobs this year, according to Moody’s, and it could take a year longer to return to full employment. An entire cohort of young people may have lower lifetime earnings because they were deprived of another semester of school. Millions of parents, particularly mothers, could be forced to stay at home, reducing their wages and job prospects because they have no choice but to care for their kids. And without this package, it will take another four years of suffering before real GDP returns to its pre-pandemic levels, according to the nonpartisan CBO.

To view the bill text, click here.


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