The coronavirus pandemic, in addition to being a public health crisis that cost more than a million American lives, resulted in an economic crisis that impacted too many Americans’ livelihoods. Congress acted swiftly in 2020 by passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and, eventually, coronavirus economic relief provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. When President Biden took office in January 2021, however, millions remained out of work, struggling to make ends meet. To bring relief, he proposed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), and Democrats in Congress swiftly enacted it into law.
The ARP, in addition to providing robust funding for the Biden Administration’s national coronavirus response, delivered substantial financial relief to the American people, and set our economy on the path to a strong and inclusive recovery. The legislation increased the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. The bill aided millions of families who buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces by lowering or eliminating their premiums. It also provided emergency aid to cover rent and utility costs, increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and expanded childcare assistance.
The results have been remarkable. Millions of children were lifted out of poverty. Since President Biden took office, the GDP grew by the fastest rate since 1984, job creation is at record-setting levels, and jobless claims are at their lowest level since 1969. While inflation remains a challenge—a challenge Democrats are committed to addressing by strengthening supply chains, lowering costs, and promoting competition—independent economists have estimated that the ARP was responsible for 2.7 percentage points of GDP growth while increasing inflation by less than half a percentage point. The ARP fulfilled its promise of rescuing the American economy.