With Caring and Determination, President Biden Will Launch the American Rescue on Day One of His Presidency 


January 15, 2021

Editor’s note: Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, released the following statement Friday, January 15, in response to President-elect Biden’s release of the American Rescue Plan.

“With COVID-19 cases surging and U.S. deaths approaching 400,000, President-elect Biden is meeting our national emergency with caring and determination.  His American Rescue Plan has the necessary scope to halt our current decline and protect millions from hardship and harm. 

“The President-elect and his team have done the clear-eyed analysis to know that we cannot free ourselves of this combined health and economic disaster without ramping up an ambitious schedule of vaccinations and disease prevention alongside a robust package to help our people meet basic needs.   

“This is, above all, a very practical plan.  The goal of 100 million vaccinations is ambitious, but through concrete plans to hire 100,000 health outreach workers and to build a competent distribution system, it will deliver on the promise.  Expanded unemployment benefits, critically needed cash delivered to families with children, poor adults, and others reeling from income loss, as well as urgently needed nutrition and housing help, are all well targeted to enable families to buy what they need.  Protecting workers and families from catastrophic income loss means businesses will do better.  The rescue is real:  as more people are protected from disease, they can return to work.  Our children can get the education they need.  We can prevent a tsunami of evictions and foreclosures. 

“The American Rescue Plan is a competent proposal.  Its components reinforce each other.  Workers cannot return to their jobs without health protections, functioning schools, child care, and public transit. Businesses need people with enough income to purchase their products, so ensuring that people have cash to spend will jumpstart our sputtering economy.  Preventing destructive cuts in state and local governments ensures that all these parts will work effectively. 

“The Biden plan has its priorities straight.  It raises the minimum wage to $15, a long-overdue contribution by businesses who will benefit so much from the rescued economy.  It will cut child poverty in half within a year and reduce Black and Latino poverty by 30 – 40 percent.  This is basic justice, but it will also be the engine of our recovery.   

“The Coalition on Human Needs calls upon Congress to enact the American Rescue Plan swiftly.  We do not have a moment to waste.”