Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on passage of the American Rescue Plan Act by the U.S. Congress. The bill now goes to President Biden for his signature. For a detailed review, see the USDA fact sheet.
“President Biden wasted no time fulfilling his pledge to the American people to bring substantial financial relief within the first 100 days of his Administration. Thanks to passage of the American Rescue Plan today, help is on the way. The American Rescue Plan will jolt our economy back to life, get money into the hands of struggling Americans, get our children back to school safely, get COVID-19 vaccinations out more swiftly, and get nutrition assistance to millions of food insecure Americans.
“The American Rescue Plan boosts SNAP benefits for food insecure families; it expands resources to mothers and young children to purchase healthy, fresh foods; and delivers badly-needed nutrition aid to U.S. territories. It also increases food available for distribution through food banks, nonprofits, or restaurants to help feed families in need and at the same time supports farmers by purchasing their products. America’s farmers, ranchers and producers will reap the benefits of the American Rescue Plan as more resources flow through the economy, as more businesses open up, spurring greater demand for American food and agricultural products.
“In rural America, the American Rescue Plan provides significant investments to help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages, property taxes and property insurance. It expands rental assistance. It funds broadband to schools and hospitals and other community facilities.
“The American Rescue Plan provides historic debt relief to Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and other farmers of color who for generations have struggled to fully succeed due to systemic discrimination and a cycle of debt. We cannot ignore the pain and suffering that this pandemic has wrought in communities of color. The American Rescue Plan answers that call to action.