WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) issued the following statement on the announcement from the incoming Biden-Harris Administration outlining their emergency COVID-19 relief package:
“San Diego families and businesses are in dire need of support to help them get through the remainder of this pandemic. The plan released by President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris is a strong start to getting the country back on its feet in the wake of this deadly pandemic,” Rep. Peters said.
“It aggressively expands vaccination distribution, ramps up testing and therapeutic deployment and increases assistance to small businesses and workers who are unemployed as a result of the blow COVID dealt our economy,” he continued. He also praised the expansion of Community Health Centers and the renewed focus on investing in health services to tribal and other underserved communities.
Of note, the proposal includes Rep. Peters’ priority of tying enhanced federal unemployment benefits to health and economic conditions. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Rep. Peters and his New Democrat Coalition colleagues have strongly supported applying automatic stabilizers to fund vital COVID-19 relief programs to ensure Americans have access to rolling aid for the duration of the crisis.
Finally, Rep. Peters said he would prefer a higher unemployment benefit over broad per-person direct payments because unemployment benefits are more targeted to those who need it most. For example, a recent college graduate, who is employed at $70,000 per year who did not lose any income last year, may not need the bonus payment. However, a single parent who lost a job as a result of COVID could use more.
“Congress must get to work to refine this legislation and get it to President-elect Biden’s desk for him to sign as soon as possible. As the New Democrat Coalition Vice Chair of Policy, I look forward to leveraging the heft of the largest Democratic caucus in Congress to put this plan into action.”
A copy of the Biden-Harris COVID-19 emergency framework, called the American Rescue Plan, can be found HERE.