Read what they are saying about Biden’s “American Rescue Plan”

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday laid out the first step in his “American Rescue Plan” which promises “to speed up vaccinations, contain the virus, and provide direct and immediate relief to support struggling communities and the families that have been hit hardest.” 

Biden’s plan known as “The American Rescue Plan” has received support across the political spectrum — from Senator Bernie Sanders to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — and from state and local leaders, labor, and public health professionals.

They said the government needs to take bold and immediate action to reopen schools safely, get relief to working families — cutting child poverty in half — and fund the vaccinations, testing and tracing, and the public health workforce we need to beat this virus.

Here’s what they’re saying about the American Rescue Plan:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer: “With the COVID-rescue package the President-elect announced today, he is moving swiftly to deliver that help and to meet the needs of the American people.  House and Senate Democrats express gratitude toward and look forward to working with the President-elect on the rescue plan.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
Incoming Budget Committee Chair Senator Bernie Sanders: “President-Elect Biden has put forth a very strong first installment of an emergency relief plan that will begin to provide desperately needed assistance to tens of millions of working families facing economic hardship during the pandemic.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “We applaud the President-elect’s focus on vaccinations and on economic sectors and families that continue to suffer as the pandemic rages on. We must defeat COVID before we can restore our economy and that requires turbocharging our vaccination efforts. [Statement, 1/14/21]
Incoming Finance Committee Chair Senator Ron Wyden: “President-elect Biden’s relief plan reflects the severity of these crises, and meets the urgent needs of the American people.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
The Hill: “President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan to provide economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic was largely welcomed by the business community that has been a loud advocate for further relief. Biden’s plan, which he announced on Thursday, includes $415 billion focused on fighting COVID-19, upwards of $1 trillion on direct aid to individuals and families and another $440 billion in aid to businesses. The traditionally conservative-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce welcomed Biden’s plan, noting the proposal’s focus on vaccinations.” [Article, 1/14/21]
National League of Cities: “President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 rescue package brings hope to the millions of Americans in our cities, towns and villages who have been devastated by the effects of this pandemic. We are especially encouraged by President-elect Biden’s inclusion of $350 billion in direct aid to state and local governments in this rescue package. Delivering direct, flexible aid to local governments across the country is an essential step to fueling our nation’s economic recovery and will offer local officials and their communities the resources they need as they manage mounting costs and increasing demands on local government resources to protect their residents.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry: “Working people across the nation are demanding to be respected, protected and paid. President-Elect Biden has laid out an ambitious plan that shows he hears their call and stands squarely in their corner. Many of the proposals he outlined – from testing and vaccine distribution to a $15 minimum wage and state and local funding – are long overdue, but that only makes it more important for Congress to begin their work immediately.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
Scott J. Becker, CEO, Association of Public Health Laboratories: “The American Rescue Plan announced today by the incoming Biden administration will include a $50 billion boost in pandemic testing, which will go a long way to  massively expand testing and laboratory capacity, including public health laboratories, and help protect our communities from the spread of this deadly virus. We’re grateful that the plan recognizes testing as an important mitigation strategy in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and includes funding to increase our disease surveillance and sequencing capacity to better identify emerging variants and track its spread.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
Senator Bob Casey: “The plan released by President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris is a substantial down payment on building back better. The agenda will provide relief for working families, dollars to contain COVID-19, funding to prevent service cuts and local  government layoffs of law enforcement, firefighters, and public health workers, and critical investments in education, which will help children return to school and learn. Congress should work quickly to pass this plan. Our Nation is in crisis and we need to come together to put this plan on President Biden’s desk so he can sign it into law.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “I’m pleased to see a bold, comprehensive plan from the president-elect to expand vaccination, provide economic relief to families, and send aid to struggling communities. These priorities ought to be our focus and this plan signals they will be.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
U.S. Senator-designate Alex Padilla: “Americans need this: Survival checks to make ends meet and robust vaccine investment and distribution so we can curb the rise of COVID-19.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Rep. Suzan DelBene, Chair, New Democrat Coalition: “New Dems welcome the release of President-elect Biden’s legislative package and look forward to achieving our shared priorities with the incoming administration. Americans need additional aid and stimulus as our nation continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis. New Dems will work together with the incoming administration to end the pandemic and reopen schools and our economy safely; protect workers, families, and local businesses; help the hardest hit, especially communities of color; and grow a robust and fair economy. [Statement, 1/14/21]
Rep. Mike Levin: “I’m excited to get to work with the @JoeBiden administration on the American Rescue Plan to deal with the public health and economic crises we face. Help is on the way.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Rep. Debbie Dingell: “With the bold leadership of a new White House, we can finally enact a national COVID-19 strategy that will support businesses, safely open schools, and vaccinate the public while keeping our most vulnerable patients healthy and safe. In the days ahead, I will work closely with the incoming Biden-Harris Administration to make this plan a reality.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: “Nearly a year ago, President Trump promised FEMA would reimburse 100 percent of New York’s expenses, but, like many of his promises, the President reneged and New Yorkers suffered. I want to thank my friends President-Elected Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for reaching this agreement, living up to the federal government’s previous promise, and proving that government can work.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
Washington Governor Jay Inslee: “President-elect Biden’s bold rescue plan meets the moment. It will help get vaccines into arms, kids safely back to school and Washingtonians the relief they need. I urge Congress to work swiftly to pass it.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy: “President-elect Biden continues to show he understands that this moment calls us to bold leadership … This plan meets every need with a real lifeline to American families, real support for state and local governments and for our vaccination efforts, and a real vision for our post-pandemic economic future. I look forward to working alongside the President-elect in any way I can to see this plan swiftly passed and enacted. New Jersey will help lead our nation into the new day that beckons.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker: “I’m grateful to see President-elect @JoeBiden’s serious and effective plan for bringing this pandemic to a close with the urgency Illinoisans deserve. The American Rescue Plan promises to match this moment of national crisis.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan: “At last, we are seeing a true national strategy to deal with this 10-month old COVID crisis. President-elect Biden’s plan he announced today would dramatically speed up vaccinations in Detroit. I hope Congress moves quickly on this proposal so we can put this virus behind us.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego: “Had a great call with Vice President Elect @KamalaHarris! We discussed the next #COVID19 relief package and the ways the incoming administration can best assist Phoenix. Local-federal partnership will be one of the most effective ways to emerge from the pandemic.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Jason Furman: “The Biden plan is the most impressive and ambitious child poverty plan ever in the United States. This would not just help in the short run but have long-run mobility benefits as well. Perhaps the 2nd most important part, the most important being combatting the virus.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Washington Post: “The wide-ranging package is designed to take aim at the twin crises Biden will confront upon taking office Jan. 20, with a series of provisions delivering direct aid to American families, businesses, and communities, and a major focus on coronavirus testing and vaccine production and delivery as the pandemic surge continues.” [Article, 1/14/21]
New York Times: “The plan amounts to a bold move by Mr. Biden to step forward at a moment of national crisis … Economists who have pushed for more federal aid for people and businesses said this week that Mr. Biden’s advisers understood that the focus needed to be on vaccine deployment in order to get the virus under control.” [Article, 1/14/21]
CNN: “A $2,000 stimulus check will be at the heart of a $2 trillion Covid relief plan that President-elect Joe Biden is set to unveil Thursday evening. An economic package passed by Congress in December provided for fresh $600 stimulus payments despite calls from politicians on both sides of the aisle for bigger checks. Biden’s plan calls for adding up to $1,400 to the payments — totaling $2,000 for those eligible, according to a fact sheet provided by the administration on Thursday.” [Article, 1/14/21]
NARAL: ?? @JoeBiden is including #PaidLeave and #PaidSickDays in the #RescuePackage! This is critical for our recovery, our public health, and the livelihood of millions of Americans. It means that 106 million workers who were denied access will get these benefits once the bill passes.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Becky Pringle, President, National Educators Association: “Educators are encouraged not only by President-elect Biden’s leadership, but also in knowing that there is finally a true partner in the White House who will listen, value the ideas, and act in the best interest of students, educators, and families.” [Statement, 1/14/21]
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers: “These actions will give families and communities the chance to thrive after so many months, and years, of pain—and we can’t wait to get started.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Elizabeth Pancotti, Employ America: “For a president to come out and understand not just the need for fiscal relief but the inequities in the relief we’ve had so far, is really remarkable.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families: “We applaud President-elect Biden for recognizing the urgent need to allow workers to take time off work to care for themselves or a family member as the pandemic continues to spread. This groundbreaking recovery package builds on last year’s emergency provisions by providing paid sick days and paid leave to workers at small and large businesses as well as health care and first responders, who are on the frontlines during this pandemic. [Statement, 1/14/21]
Save the Children Action Network: “We’re thrilled to see the Biden-Harris administration prioritize significant #childcare funding in their American Rescue Plan. The plan includes a necessary stabilization fund to help the child care industry, as well as refundable tax credits to help make child care affordable.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Matthew Yglesias, Slow Boring: “[T]his is significant not just in terms of financial resources, but it indicates that the Biden Administration will be actually taking some measure of responsibility for the vaccine situation instead of just passing the buck — treating it as a national issue requiring federal funding and some form of a national plan…I’m excited to see a new administration thinking big.” [Article, 1/14/21]
EJ Dionne, Washington Post: “Good to hear a president talk about policy again, married to empathy for the suffering & struggling. @JoeBiden used populist language about the left-out & about rebuilding American industry. Striking: His proposals rooted in those he offered in the campaign. #GoverningIsBack.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Garrett Haake, NBC News: “My inbox and twitter timeline are flooded with statements from Democrats (and even the Chamber of Commerce) in support of the Biden COVID rescue plan. I had almost forgotten what a coordinated policy rollout looks like.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]
Ben White, POLITICO: “Unsurprisingly for a wonky and detailed crew, even the “fact sheet” for Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion vaccination/stimulus plan is super long and detailed. Not really in keeping with what we’ve seen the last few years.” [Tweet, 1/14/21]

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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