WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/05/21]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said today that Congressional passage of a $1.9 trillion budget resolution early Friday morning sets the country on a pathway to urgently needed relief from the coronavirus pandemic that in the past year has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and upended the economic well-being of families, businesses, and communities in Minnesota and across the country.
Sen. Smith said the resolution creates a roadmap for Congressional committees to begin work on the wide-range of efforts needed to address the devastating impact the virus has already had on the country, including funding for vaccine distribution efforts as well as help for hard-hit businesses and for the millions of Americans who have lost jobs, housing, childcare, and health insurance. It also would help get the nation’s schools reopened safely and support rental and nutrition assistance for families who need help putting food on the table and to stay in their homes.
“The need for action is urgent to get COVID-19 relief to the millions of people in Minnesota and across the country who have lost jobs, businesses, and loved ones to this virus,” said Sen. Smith. “I supported this budget resolution because it will put us on a pathway to quickly take the steps necessary to defeat this virus and get our families, businesses, and communities back on their feet again. The restoration of the health, safety and economic well-being of all Americans has to be our top priority as we move forward. We can’t wait any longer and I will press for Congress to complete the work necessary to get this job done.”
The resolution instructs committees to begin work on legislation that would, among other things, provide $1,400 stimulus checks to millions of Americans, extend emergency unemployment benefits, and deliver funding for COVID-19 testing and vaccines. It would also send aid to hard-hit state and local government and increase the earned income tax credit and child tax credit.
The final version of the resolution passed the Senate at 5:30 a.m. ET Friday after an all-night session, with the House passing it later that day.