Carper Applauds Passage of American Rescue Plan to Tackle the COVID Crisis, Provide Much-Needed Relief and Get Americans Back to Work

Carper fought to include additional funding to help kids that have fallen behind in school and to retrain workers in President Biden’s comprehensive package

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Finance Committee, released the following statement regarding Senate passage of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

“I have long said – and President Biden knows – that the only way to really get our economy back on track and life back to normal for the American people is to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror once and for all. President Biden has been laser-focused on combatting the coronavirus since even before he was sworn into office, and his first legislative initiative will ensure that we can tackle this virus head on. One of the most important pieces of this package is the critical funding it provides to increase COVID-19 vaccinations all across our country. We know that getting more vaccines in more arms is the best thing that we can do to keep ourselves and our communities safe. This bill includes significant resources to improve the distribution and administration of vaccines, including critical education and awareness campaigns to ensure that all Americans have the facts about the safety and efficacy of these life-saving vaccines.

“I am also pleased that we were able to secure additional resources to make sure that our children can get back into their classrooms safely and soon. We know that far too many kids in this country have fallen behind as a result of the pandemic, and we have an obligation to make sure that all students have an opportunity to catch up. This package includes additional funds for robust summer school education, as well as additional funding for broadband so that all students, no matter their zip code, can access the tools needed for a 21st century education. In the Senate version of this bill, we were able to better target direct payments to individuals and families to ensure that the neediest among us get the help that they need to weather this pandemic and emerge on strong footing. Finally, we’ve ensured that our state and local governments, which have assumed a tremendous burden throughout this pandemic, will have the resources necessary to deal with revenue shortfalls, and also cover the increased costs of providing critical services like retraining workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

“Our work does not end here with the passage of this legislation. As we have done with the CARES Act, there is a great deal of oversight that will be required to make sure that this money gets to the right places in an expeditious, but accurate way. I am particularly pleased by the $2 billion in funds set aside for unemployment insurance program integrity, which will help to ensure that these benefits are distributed appropriately and get to those who are most in need of help.

“I am a glass half full guy and an optimist by nature. I know we are seeing signs that are encouraging for our economy, and I believe that hope is on the horizon. But we also know that, despite some positive economic forecasts, far too many families are still struggling to just get by. We can be on the road to recovery soon, but now is not the time to become complacent. This legislation will provide the relief that so many Americans need in the short term so that we can come back stronger than before. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to get this bill to the President’s desk in short order and to see it implemented expeditiously.”