SEN. PETERSEN: Help is on the way – American Rescue Plan

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Thanks to President Biden and Congressional Democrats, Iowans will benefit from the federal American Rescue Plan – the biggest piece of anti-poverty legislation in more than 50 years. It’s putting money directly into the hands of Iowans, lifting thousands of Iowa children out of poverty, and making health care affordable for more Iowans.

The American Rescue Plan is:

  • Sending $1,400 checks to adults and those with child dependents.
  • Extending bonus federal unemployment benefits through September.
  • Exempting the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits from income taxes.
  • Expanding the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child & Dependent Care Credit.
  • Reducing costs and increasing access to affordable health insurance.
  • Providing emergency housing and rental assistance.
  • Expanding food stamp benefits.

According to an estimate by the Urban Institute, the American Rescue Plan will reduce overall poverty in the U.S. by a third and cut child poverty by more than half.

As we start work on next year’s state budget, Iowa lawmakers should build on the American Rescue Plan by:

  • Addressing growing food insecurity by boosting support for food banks and other food initiatives (SF 153, SF 157, SF 273).
  • Expanding child care options and access for families throughout the state (SF 177, SF 186, SF 437).
  • Establishing an Essential Workers’ Bill of Rights that provides family and medical leave, as well as workplace protections, hazard pay and worker’s compensation for those exposed to COVID-19 on the job (SF 137, SF 138, SF 412, SF 471).

In my upcoming newsletters, I’ll continue sharing features of the American Rescue Plan, and how Senate Democrats’ COVID Recovery Plan can enhance its benefits for Iowans.

Author: Janet Petersen