Rep. Johnson Votes to Pass Budget Resolution, A Key Tool to Accelerate Passing COVID Relief for Americans

February 4, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Henry “Hank” Johnson has voted to pass H. Con. Res. 11, FY 2021 Budget Resolution, A Key Tool to Accelerate Passing COVID Relief for Americans. Passing this budget ensures that Congress can act quickly and decisively in the weeks to come to deliver the robust relief that American families, workers and communities need to combat the coronavirus pandemic and strengthen the economy.

 

“For over a year, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis have destroyed Americans lives and livelihoods, and the people of Georgia need to know that help is on the way,” said Rep. Johnson. “Tens of millions of Americans have been infected, nearly half a million have died and tens of millions remain unemployed as well as food and housing insecure, and our most vulnerable communities in Georgia and across the country are bearing the disproportionate impacts of these crises. We must act now, which is I why I am proud to join my colleagues to pass this budget resolution to allow us to move forward in a hopefully bipartisan way to deliver the urgently needed relief that Georgia families need immediately!”

 

In Congress, there is strong precedent for reconciliation bills, which have been passed on a bipartisan basis 17 times in recent years, including for the bipartisan, landmark Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Democrats hope and expect that Republicans in Congress will support assistance that will bring relief to the communities they represent. Passing this budget does not preclude adopting Republican suggestions that would strengthen the package. But it does ensure that Congress can move forward in a timely way and meet Georgia families’ urgent needs.

 

Reports indicate that without immediate action, an entire cohort of young people in Georgia and across the country may have lower lifetime earnings because they were deprived of another semester of school. Millions of Georgia parents, particularly mothers, could be forced to stay at home, reducing their wages and future job prospects because they have no choice but to care for their kids. With interest rates at historic lows and the return on smart investments in the economy having never been higher, numerous top economists are saying that now is the time for bold action.

 

The budget resolution passed today is an essential first step in Congress’s efforts to deliver the comprehensive, strategic, and science-based relief laid out in President Biden’s robust American Rescue Plan:

  • Beat the virus and safely reopen schools The plan will mount a national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide. It will also take complementary measures to combat the virus, including scaling up testing and tracing, addressing shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, investing in high-quality treatments and addressing health care disparities. The plan will also make the investments necessary to safely reopen schools.

  • Deliver immediate relief to working families bearing the brunt of the crisis The plan will provide direct assistance to households across America by $1,400 per person, bringing the total (including the $600 down payment enacted in December) to $2,000. The plan will also provide direct housing and nutrition assistance to families struggling to get by, expand access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care, extend and expand Unemployment Insurance so American workers can pay their bills and give families with children as well as childless workers a boost through enhanced tax credits.

  • Support communities struggling with the economic fallout The plan will provide crucial support for the hardest-hit small businesses, especially those owned by entrepreneurs from racial and ethnic backgrounds that have experienced systemic discrimination. The plan also provides crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.

     

    “For the hard-working Americans in Georgia, the cost of continued inaction is too high,” continued Rep. Johnson. “I hope to work with Members on both sides of the aisle to meet the urgent needs of our communities, but I will not sacrifice more time or the health and well-being of Georgia families at this critical moment. Only with the big, bold action that these crises require can we destroy the virus now and deliver progress to Build Back Better for all Americans.”

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