Rep. Ilhan Omar Statement on the American Rescue Plan
WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement on her support for the American Rescue Plan.
“The American Rescue Plan is a monumental piece of legislation.
“It continues unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who have lost work during the pandemic —including many in my district. It provides an additional $25 billion in rental assistance to people struggling—not nearly enough, but critical nonetheless.
“The bill gives added nutrition assistance to families in Minnesota and ensures food goes to laid off restaurant workers. It expands the child tax credit—drastically reducing child poverty. It restores emergency paid leave. It gets more relief into the pockets of small business owners. It provides $350 billion in aid to local governments and schools. It increases support for vaccines and testing. The bill will slash homelessness, helping 80,000 families get permanent housing. It provides direct payments to families who rely on school meals. It makes the largest investment in history in Native communities. It saves the pension of millions of retired truck drivers, retail clerks, builders and others—who would otherwise lose their retirement income
“As Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I worked hard to ensure that the package that the House passed was as bold as possible, keeping the thresholds for survival checks the same, including essential funding for housing, utilities, and a child tax credit that will cut poverty in half.
“Unfortunately, some of our Senate colleagues disregarded policies that will lift people out of poverty and support working class Americans. The Senate bill scaled back eligibility for unemployment benefits and reduced thresholds for payments, cutting off thousands of Minnesotans. Instead of listening to the American people, the Senate sided with the ruling of an unelected bureaucrat and failed to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a policy that would have benefited 32 million Americans.
“But my job is to get as much relief as possible to my constituents. This bill will provide $281 million to the city of Minneapolis, $246 million for Hennepin County, and $2.6 billion to the Minnesota state government, helping frontline workers, public transit agencies and teachers and stopping the spread of the virus once and for all. It does so without any wasteful giveaways to the wealthy included in earlier packages.
“It remains one of the boldest pieces of economic legislation in generations. And for that reason, I will proudly support it.”