One step closer to our new future

Council 5 Executive Director Julie Bleyhl released the following statement after the Passage of the American Rescue Plan:

"After many months of sustained pressure on Congress, our union helped to secure the passage of the American Rescue Plan, our country's largest package of legislation that will invest in state and local governments to prevent further layoffs and furloughs, provide direct relief to working people, fund critical state and local vaccine distribution plans, extend increased unemployment insurance benefits to those impacted by the pandemic, and so much more. Our council will continue to fight for the bread and butter issues that our members and working families expect. Our united advocacy for federal and state legislation, stronger workplace health and safety protocols, and collective bargaining contracts that our members and families rely on are critical for us getting through this pandemic and building our new future. THANK YOU for making calls, sending emails and signing petitions that made this a reality!"

Click here to read International Union President Lee Saunders' statement after the passage of the American Rescue Plan. We are grateful for our International Union's continued support and leadership as we work to rebuild our state and country!

Highlights of the American Rescue Plan:

- #FundTheFrontLines: The bill provides $350 billion for state, local, and tribal governments! This has been a huge priority of our union. This will allow state, local, and tribal governments to help close budget deficits, invest in the working-class, COVID-19 vaccine distribution and more.

- Direct relief checks to Americans up to $1,400. Individuals who earned up to $75,000 will receive the full $1,400 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 will receive the full $1,400 per person (including dependents). Single taxpayers earning more than $80,000 or married couples earning more than $160,000 will not receive relief checks.

- $130 billion for schools to reduce class sizes to enhance social distancing and protect students and staff and fund critical infrastructure projects within schools (upgraded ventilation etc.).

- $30 billion in rental and housing assistance for renters and homeowners who are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage.

- Increases the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child dependent between the ages of 6-17 and $3,600 per child under 6 years old. According to the Center on Poverty and Social Policy, this provision, along with direct relief checks, is likely to cut child poverty in half.

- $25 billion for bars and restaurants that have been impacted by the pandemic.

This legislation was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 12, 2021.

We must continue to fight for a fair and just tax code that raises taxes on the wealthy and most profitable corporations. For example, Jeff Bezos who earns more than $150,000 PER MINUTE and corporations like Amazon who continue to pay $0 in federal taxes while earning more than $11 billion profit must pay their fair share in taxes. Dozens of multi-billion dollar corporations continue to pay no federal taxes. We cannot continue this grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that continues to permeate our society and exaserbate disparities. If we revamp our tax code, then we can make more investments possible in the lives of working families.