ACLU Statement on the American Rescue Plan

March 10, 2021 9:15 am

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WASHINGTON — The United States House of Representatives voted to pass the American Rescue Plan Act for COVID-19 relief again today. The bill passed the Senate last weekend and is now heading to President Biden’s desk.

The American Civil Liberties Union has been vocal in its support of key provisions in the COVID relief bill that move us closer to racial equity and also address the needs of vulnerable communities. There are numerous provisions that will save lives, keep people housed, sustain families, and safeguard the health of millions. The bill includes funding to stop evictions, support Medicaid home and community-based care and workers, increase testing, treatment, and vaccination, expand emergency broadband, and enhance the child tax credit. While the ACLU lauds the inclusion of these crucial programs, we note the absence of and failure to include other key provisions, including to ensure testing, treatment, and vaccination of immigrants — regardless of status.

Vania Leveille, senior legislative counsel for the ACLU, issued the following statement:

“The American Plan Rescue Act represents a significant victory for racial justice, gender justice, disability rights, and the health of our country. As we look to heal the additional wounds that COVID-19 has inflicted on our communities, Congress and the Biden administration correctly sought to prioritize the needs of those who have been hit hardest. The pandemic shined a bright light on disparities in health, wealth, employment, education, and housing that have been caused by decades of neglect and systemic racism. The provisions in this bill take important steps to support Black and Brown communities and create a path towards healing and recovery.

“This legislation is the result of unrelenting advocacy and organizing by so many sister organizations that made sure lawmakers did not forget those who were suffering and dying in the shadows. It is a reminder that we are stronger together. This bill is not the final step towards a full recovery, but the first of many. We will continue fighting with the people and communities that have been most marginalized during this pandemic to ensure that they will be prioritized in any upcoming recovery package.”

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