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Letter to the Editor: Senator Booker Explains American Rescue Plan Benefits

Dear New Jerseyan,

 

Letters to ed 3

This past week, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, delivering on his and Congressional Democrats’ promise to provide COVID-19 relief to the American people. I supported this bold legislation because it provides an urgent and historic investment in the health and financial stability of millions of New Jerseyans and people across the country, a boost to our small businesses, and a lifeline to state and local governments. The landmark American Rescue Plan puts our country on a path to ending this pandemic and building back stronger and better.

The American Rescue Plan provides a number of benefits, which will directly benefit you. I encourage New Jerseyans who would like to see a detailed breakdown and more information on how to access these critical resources to take a look at our updated COVID-19 Federal Relief Update for New Jerseyans at booker.senate.gov/coronavirus.

Here is just a snapshot of what this landmark bill will do for the American people:

Stimulus Checks

  • $1,400 direct payments to individuals making less than $75,000 or couples making less than $150,000 and each of their dependent children. (Some individuals earning up to $80,000 and couples earning up to $160,000 will be eligible to receive a reduced amount of this benefit).
  • This will total $9.62 billion in combined direct payments for 3,691,546 eligible New Jersey households – an average $2,605 per household.
  • On top of $600 checks approved in December, these $1,400 payments fulfill a promise of providing $2,000 stimulus payments per person.
  • Unlike previous rounds, adult dependents would be eligible for payments.
  • Citizen spouses and children living in mixed-status families are also eligible for payments.

Unemployment Insurance (UI)

  • Emergency provisions expanding unemployment insurance benefits that were due to lapse March 14 will now be extended to September 6.
  • These changes extend the $300 federal weekly enhanced benefit through September 6.
  • The American Rescue Plan makes the first $10,200 of unemployment insurance benefit income tax-free for individuals earning up to $150,000.
  • Freelancers, gig workers and independent contractors are eligible for expanded benefits.
  • Over 268,000 New Jerseyans whose federal UI benefits were due to expire this week will have them extended.

Tax Credits

  • Expands the existing Child Tax Credit for families with children by up to $1,600 per child, from $2,000 to $3,600 per child under age six and $3,4000 per child under age 18. 
  • Families will become able to receive the credit as a monthly payment.
  • More than 1.6 million New Jersey children will benefit from this expanded credit, including an additional 560,000 children who previously did not qualify for the full benefit.
  • 82% of New Jersey children will now be eligible for the Child Tax Credit
  • In addition to benefiting millions of New Jersey children, these changes will lift 10 million American children out of poverty, including an estimated 89,000 in New Jersey.

Vaccines/Testing

  • The American Rescue Plan provides $14 billion for vaccines, helping to scale up America’s vaccine capacity.
  • The law also provides $49 billion for testing, contact tracing, genomic sequencing to track new variants and monitor of COVID-19 to better prevent its spread.
  • It also provides $7.6 billion to hire 100,000 public health workers to administer vaccines and support the pandemic response.

State/Local Assistance

  • The American Rescue Plan provides $360 billion in direct, flexible aid to every state, county and municipal government, to help cover increased costs and lost revenues due to the pandemic, while keeping essential public workers on the job and maintaining critical services for residents; includes $10 billion to expand broadband internet access.
  • The law provides an estimated $10.2 billion for New Jersey, including approximately $6.4 billion for the state plus another $192 million for broadband, $1.823 billion combined for all 21 counties, and $1.741 billion split among all 565 municipalities. 
  • The law provides $50 billion for Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) to reimburse state and local COVID response costs at 100% cost share.
  • New Jersey has already received $2 billion from FEMA DRF.

Help is on the way. Together, we will finally overcome this pandemic and build back better. 

Sincerely,

Signature

Cory A. Booker
United States Senator

 

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