New York, NY—New York realized about $54 billion from the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill that was enacted at the end of last year. The bill’s signing was in doubt for months because Democrats and Republicans haggled over the price tag. President-elect Joe Biden recently announced a nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan, and Republicans are already balking. But U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, soon-to-be majority leader, said he will be hitting the ground running this week to deliver the rescue plan to New Yorkers and the country.
The Senator was joined by fellow U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand outside his New York offices along 3rd Avenue earlier today. He emphasized that absent the rescue plan, the dual economic and public crises will get worse. He then noted some provisions of the plan, with funds being distributed for unemployment benefits, direct cash payments to individuals earning less than $75,000 annually, vaccine distribution, as well as relief for transit, state and local governments.
“And a plan like this, that delivers COVID relief to New York families, small businesses, a robust vaccine effort, state and local dollars—and expands to provide New York restaurants with direct relief like the RESTAURANTS Act, to provide even more help to transit systems and more, is one we will fight hard to fully achieve,” said Senator Schumer.
Similarly, U.S. Senator Gillibrand said that President-elect Joe Biden understands the urgency of the crisis.
“While we have a lot of work ahead of us, Senator Schumer and I are ready to enact plans to get New Yorkers the resources needed to rebuild an economy that prioritize paid leave, child care, transit funding, Health Force, and an equitable vaccine distribution for all,” said Senator Gillibrand.
“I am looking forward to helping pass this plan to deliver much-needed relief to our state, local governments and Americans all across the country.”
But just as Republicans in Congress voiced opposition to a relief bill last year because they were opposed to funding earmarked for direct aid to state and local governments, they are voicing the same concerns.
According to the Financial Times, U.S. Senator Rick Scott of Florida said, while in favor of targeted relief for Americans the hardest hit by the pandemic, that he wouldn’t “stand by and let failed liberal policies be used to mortgage our kids’ and grandkids’ futures.”
In addition, some centrist Democrats are opposed to other provisions, like U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) opposition to universal $1,400 direct payments to individuals.
Despite the expected opposition, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand said they’ll be forging ahead to ensure the legislation's passage.