On March 10, the House passed the Senate amendment to the American Rescue Plan Act, sending the legislation to President Biden’s desk. The American Rescue Plan Act contains a number of key provisions authored by Financial Services Committee Democrats.
These include provisions providing $10 billion to support the production of emergency medical equipment using the Defense Production Act, $27.5 billion to support renters, $5 billion to support people experiencing homelessness, $10 billion to support homeowners, and $10 billion to support small businesses. In addition, the legislation also includes a provision that provides $15 billion to further extend the Payroll Support Program through September 30, 2021 to fund payroll support for airline workers and related contract workers.
See below for a summary of provisions authored by Committee Democrats:
Provision providing $10 billion to produce critical medical equipment:
The COVID-19 Medical Production Act – This provision by Representative Juan Vargas (D-CA) provides $10 billion to expand the production of critical medical supplies and equipment to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, using the authorities under the Defense Production Act.
Provisions providing $27.5 billion to support renters during the pandemic:
The Emergency Assistance for Renters Act – This measure by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) authorizes $21.6 billion for an Emergency Rental Assistance program that allocates funding to states, territories, counties, and cities, including $305 million for U.S. territories, to help renters pay their rent and utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, and help rental property owners of all sizes continue to cover their costs.
The Emergency Housing Voucher Act – This measure by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) authorizes $5 billion for 70,000 new emergency Housing Choice Vouchers to transition people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, and victims of human trafficking to stable housing.
The Coronavirus Housing Counseling Support Act of 2021 – This provision by Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA), authorizes $100 million for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks) to enable housing counselors to respond to the surge of demand for services, which include foreclosure and eviction mitigation counseling, due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Protect Rural Renters Act of 2021 – This provision, led by Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA), authorizes $100 million for additional rural rental assistance targeted to people who do not currently receive such assistance but are otherwise eligible and also experienced a loss of income of significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Emergency Tribal Housing Assistance Act of 2021 – This provision by Representative Juan Vargas (D-CA) authorizes $750 million to help Alaska Natives, Native Americans, and Native Hawaiians respond to pressing housing needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Under this section, the Indian Housing Block Grant program would receive $455 million, including a $5 million set aside for Native Hawaiians, that can be used to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the coronavirus and to fund eligible affordable housing activities under the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act. The Indian Community Development Block Grant program would receive $280 million, which can be used to fund activities that address imminent threats to health and safety and are designed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.
Provision providing $5 billion to support people experiencing homelessness:
The Emergency Homelessness Assistance Act – This provision by Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) authorizes $5 billion for the Emergency Solutions Grants program to enable state and local governments to finance housing and health-related services for the hundreds of thousands of people currently experiencing homelessness, including the acquisition of hotels and motels to serve as transitional and permanent supportive housing.
Provisions providing $10 billion to support homeowners:
The COVID Homeowner Assistance Act of 2021 – This provision by Representative David Scott (D-GA) authorizes nearly $10 billion to states, territories, and tribes to address the ongoing needs of homeowners struggling to afford their housing due directly or indirectly to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing direct assistance for mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities, and other housing related costs.
The Stabilizing Rural Homeowners During COVID Act of 2021 – This provision by Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) authorizes $39 million for the Department of Agriculture to continue providing Section 502 and 504 home loans, which help low- and very-low income borrowers to purchase, repair and rehabilitate housing in rural areas, while helping existing USDA borrowers who are struggling to afford their housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Provision providing $20 million to support fair housing:
Fair Housing Enforcement Emergency Act of 2021 – This provision by Representative Al Green (D-TX) provides $20 million to ensure fair housing organizations have additional resources to address fair housing inquiries, complaints, investigations, and education and outreach activities, during or relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
Provision providing $10 billion to support small businesses:
The State Small Business Credit Initiative Renewal Act – This provision by Representative Al Green (D-TX) provides $10 billion towards Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to support state, territory, tribal, and local small business programs. This will support up to $100 billion in low cost financing and technical assistance to small and minority-owned businesses harmed during the pandemic and to support a robust recovery.
The American Rescue Plan Act also provides $15 billion to support workers employed by the airlines:
$15 billion for a third iteration of the Payroll Support Program (PSP), which ensures roughly 680,000 air carrier workers, as well as additional workers of eligible air carrier contractors, continue to receive a paycheck through at least September 30, 2021.