McClinton renews fight to free COVID-19 relief dollars on one year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan

PHILADELPHIA, March 11 -- With President Joe Biden visiting Philadelphia today to mark one year since he signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law, Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton released the following statement, renewing her fight to connect more of the billions in relief dollars the commonwealth currently has in the bank to help struggling Pennsylvanians impacted most by COVID-19:

“From getting vaccinated to wearing masks, I am extremely proud of the collective effort being made across the country and commonwealth to protect ourselves and one another from COVID-19. This commitment is paying off as we see reported cases and hospitalizations going down, but we can’t ignore the hardships still being felt all across Pennsylvania – specifically by our most vulnerable neighbors.

“The fact is we have more than $2 billion in American Rescue Plan funds just sitting in the bank right now that we should be using to dig families out of debt, get local businesses back on track, stimulate our economy, and uplift people who have been beaten down by this health crisis. However, these critical resources remain locked away thanks to those in the state legislature who are fixated on having a ‘wait and see’ mentality. If you know someone is hurting and have the resources to stop the pain, why would you let the suffering get worse? 

“We have proven in both the House and Senate, we can come together, compromise, and get the people’s work done in a swift manner. Just a few months ago, we unanimously voted to send $225 million in American Rescue Plan funds to support our health care heroes. There’s no reason why we can’t duplicate this lifesaving effort.

“Since the American Rescue Plan was enacted, Pennsylvania House Democrats have pushed our PA Rescue Plan that fights to ensure these federal dollars are used as intended. This means creating jobs, expanding affordable childcare, providing hazard pay and paid sick leave to more employees and making similar investments to help our neighbors recover, rebuild and thrive past COVID-19. 

“Acting now is better than later. We need to be responsible stewards and be responsive to the need of the hour. We have made some progress, but our work to put people first during this time of need is far from finished,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware.