Chair Castor Statement On Passage Of President Biden's American Rescue Plan
Mar 10, 2021
Urgently-Needed Relief Bill Makes Progress on Public Health, Environmental Justice, And Other Priorities
WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, Chair Kathy Castor of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released the following statement as the House of Representatives passed President Biden's American Rescue Plan, an urgently-needed relief package that will crush the coronavirus, return children safely to the classroom, and put people back to work:
"As we deliver on President Biden's plan to put shots in arms, children in schools, and people in jobs, we're making sure that farmers, tribes, and low-income families are reaping the benefits of our economic recovery," said Chair Castor. "That's what the American Rescue Plan does. This legislation will serve as a lifeline to make sure families have access to public transit and health care, and to make sure they're able to pay their energy bills, regardless of their zip code.
"President Biden is making good on his promise to make environmental justice a cornerstone of the Build Back Better agenda, and this bill is no different. Through vital investments in air quality monitoring, rural health care funding, and loan assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, the president is putting workers and families first as we crush this pandemic, rebuild our economy, and make progress on solving the climate crisis."
The American Rescue Package advances a number of the Select Committee's Climate Crisis Action Plan priorities, including:
- $100 million for environmental justice grants, including $50 million to increase air quality monitoring, and $50 million to identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in vulnerable populations
- Increased funding for mass transit.
Agriculture & Farmers
- Emergency rural development grants for rural health care,
- Farm loan assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and
- Loans and grants to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency.
- Funding for global health security and disease detection and response,
- Funding for data modernization and forecasting center,
- Funding for public health workforce and Medical Reserve Corps,
- Funding for community health centers, Project AWARE, and other behavioral health programs,
- Funding for veterans' health programs and supply chains, and
- Funding to Indian Health Service.
Housing & Community Development
- $4.5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP),
- Funding for water assistance,
- Homeowner Assistance Fund to help cover housing costs, such as utilities and flood insurance,
- Funding that can be used by states for broadband infrastructure, and
- Funding for tribal housing programs, as well as tribal government services, public safety, social services, and delivery of potable water for tribal communities.
Community Disaster Relief
- $50 billion to the Disaster Relief Fund, and $400 million for FEMA emergency food and shelter programs.
More information on the American Rescue Plan, including bill text and section-by-section analysis, is available on the Budget Committee website.
- In June of 2020, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Democrats released the majority staff report Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America. This report provides a roadmap for Congress—a Climate Crisis Action Plan—to build a prosperous, clean energy economy that values workers, advances environmental justice, and is prepared to meet the challenges of the climate crisis.