Rep. Axne Announces Support for American Rescue Plan

February 26, 2021
Press Release
COVID-19 relief package scheduled for Friday evening vote includes extended unemployment benefits, a new round of direct payments, and investments to accelerate vaccine distribution

Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) announced her intention to vote for the American Rescue Plan, a comprehensive relief bill aimed at helping Iowans in need and accelerating efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation includes an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, a new round of direct payments, expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, and direct relief to help Iowa’s renters, homeowners, small businesses, schools, and child care providers.

The American Rescue Plan also includes $400 billion to enable efficient distribution of vaccines and reinforce COVID-19 mitigation capabilities, including testing and contact tracing.

“Nearly one year since our first COVID-19 cases came to Iowa, this virus is still hanging over our communities and families. Tens of thousands of Iowans are out of work, and many more are fighting to make ends meet, protect their parents and children, and keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables,” said Rep. Axne. “The American Rescue Plan prevents current protections from lapsing, puts money in the pockets of those who are struggling, and enables our health care professionals to quickly and efficiently ramp up our vaccination efforts so that we can finally put this pandemic behind us. I’m proud to vote for this comprehensive legislation, and urge my Senate colleagues to approve it quickly to ensure benefits are distributed without delay.”

Some important provisions of the American Rescue Plan include:

  • Direct payments of up to $1,400 per adult and $1,400 per dependent for individuals making up to $100,000 and joint filers making up to $200,000.
  • $400 per week in supplemental federal unemployment benefits through August 29, 2021, and an extension of eligibility for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs to allow up to 74 weeks of benefits.
  • $36 billion in rental and mortgage assistance, including $200 million in funding for rural rental assistance and housing counseling services added by Rep. Axne last week.
  • $40 billion to support child care center operations and protect access to affordable care, and an increase in the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child and $3,600 if the child is under the age of 6.
  • $25 billion for a new restaurant assistance fund, $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, and $15 billion for Economic Impact Disaster Loans (EIDL), as well as an extension of the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
  • $168 billion for schools, including both primary and secondary educational institutions to support safe reopening, teacher and student safety. The American Rescue Plan also includes vital support for state and local governments, a provision that Rep. Axne has fought for since introducing her own bipartisan legislation to address local budget shortfalls last May.

Iowa’s local governments are expected to receive roughly $1.2 billion, and the State of Iowa will receive an additional $1.39 billion.

“I’ve heard from mayors in towns across southwest Iowa – from Council Bluffs to Creston and over to Des Moines – who’re projecting revenue losses because of COVID-19,” said Rep. Axne. “This package delivers on our promise to protect local services from disastrous budget cuts, and I’m pleased that towns across Iowa will have the support they need to close their deficits from last year.”

The American Rescue Plan will advance to the U.S. Senate, and is expected to be on the President’s desk for his signature by early March.