Congresswoman Adams Votes for American Rescue Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Early Friday morning, Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12) voted to pass H.R. 1319, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The 1.9 trillion dollar package contains hundreds of millions of dollars in relief for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, robust funding for testing, contract tracing, and vaccine distribution, economic impact payments and rental assistance for Americans in need, and provisions that will raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences are taking their toll on North Carolina and our country. Tens of millions of Americans have been affected, and this week we passed the tragic milestone of having lost 500,000 lives to the virus,” said Rep. Adams. “Over 18 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, more than 50 million Americans are struggling with hunger – with an estimated 17 million children living in households facing food insecurity, and up to 40 million Americans cannot afford rent and fear eviction. The American Rescue Plan Act will crush the virus, return children safely to the classroom, get vaccines to the people, put dollars into families’ pockets, and put people back to work at a living wage by raising the federal minimum wage. The American people can’t wait, and that’s why I voted yes tonight.”
North Carolina would receive an estimated $5.136 billion in federal funds. Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools would receive an estimated $365 million in federal funding, Mecklenburg County would receive an estimated $215 million. Mecklenburg County cities and towns would receive the following estimated allocations from the American Rescue Plan Act:
- Charlotte, $149 million
- Cornelius, $8.85 million
- Davidson, $3.82 million
- Huntersville, $17.0 million
- Matthews, $9.70 million
- Mint Hill, $8.08 million
- Pineville, $2.64 million
The Biden American Rescue Plan will save lives and livelihoods:
- Put Vaccines in Arms: 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.
- Put Children Safely Back in School: The plan will make a nearly $130 billion investment in school re-opening and making up for lost time in the classroom. These funds can be used for such things as reducing class sizes, modifying spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improving ventilation, implementing more mitigation measures, providing personal protective equipment, and providing summer school or other support for students that help make up lost learning time this year. The plan also provides resources for higher education, Head Start and childcare facilities.
- Put Money in People’s Pockets: The plan finishes the job on the President’s promise to provide $2,000 in direct assistance to households across America with checks of $1,400 per person, following the $600 down payment enacted in December. The plan will also provide direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, expand access to safe and reliable childcare and affordable health care, extend and expand Unemployment Insurance so that 19 million American workers can pay their bills and supporting 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and 15 million low-wage workers through the Earned Income Tax Credit. It will give 27 million workers a raise and lift one million out of poverty by raising the federal minimum wage.
- Put People Back in Jobs: 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, with EIDL grants, expanded PPP eligibility and more. 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.
The American Rescue Plan is strongly supported by a large majority of the American people – including 60 percent of Republicans – bipartisan state and local leaders, national education groups, trade unions and advocacy organizations, and hundreds of businesses and chambers of commerce. Economists agree that the American Rescue Plan’s targeted, evidence-based action is needed – both for struggling families and for the American economy. The legislation’s provisions will generate $1.25 for every $1 of spending, will cut child poverty in half and will lift nearly 12 million people out of poverty. As Mark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics, has said, “It’s better to err on the side of too much rather than too little. Interest rates are at zero, inflation is low, unemployment is high. You don’t need a textbook to know this is when you push on the fiscal accelerator.”
In the Greater Charlotte area, the Republican mayors of Mooresville (Miles Atkins) and Salisbury (Karen Alexander) have also urged passage of the plan.
If the American Rescue Plan is not enacted now, the results could be catastrophic, with 4 million fewer jobs this year, according to Moody’s, and it could take a year longer to return to full employment. An entire cohort of young people may have lower lifetime earnings because they were deprived of another semester of school. Millions of parents, particularly mothers, could be forced to stay at home, reducing their wages and job prospects because they have no choice but to care for their kids. And without this package, it will take another four years of suffering before real GDP returns to its pre-pandemic levels, according to the nonpartisan CBO.
The Economic Policy Institute reports that an estimated 146,000 workers in North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District would receive wage increases if a $15 per hour minimum wage is passed by Congress and signed into law. Of those 146,000 workers, 80,000 are women and 66,000 are Black. 12th District workers benefiting from the legislation would see an average annual wage increase of 18% or approximately $4,200 in 2020 dollars.
In 2006, as a Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, Adams was able to successfully pass a one-dollar-an-hour increase in North Carolina’s minimum wage, which lifted the wages of over 100,000 workers state-wide.
Congresswoman Alma Adams represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte) and serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. Additionally, she serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee.