Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, and Leader McCarthy:
In the midst of our ongoing health and economic crises that have left millions unable to pay their bills, policymakers need to take bold action to bolster our economy, reduce hardship, and forge a path to an equitable recovery. President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan – with its critical public health investments to beat COVID-19, its aid to help struggling families, and its assistance to states, localities, tribes, and territories – is an appropriate scale of new spending under current conditions.
Our nation continues to be battered by a vicious virus and the economic fallout from the pandemic. In December, some 27 million workers had lost their jobs or seen their hours and pay cut. The rise in long-term unemployment shows clearly that our economy remains very troubled. Black and Latinx people are disproportionately feeling the impact, with unemployment rates in December of 9.9 and 9.3 percent, respectively – well above the white unemployment rate of 6 percent, which is itself too high. In its January 26 monetary policy statement, the Federal Reserve noted the continued weakness in the economy saying, “The recovery in economic activity and employment has moderated in recent months with weakness concentrated in the sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic.”
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The above excerpt was originally published in Roosevelt Institute.
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