Happy to support the US bailout

0

I recently voted for one of the most important bills ever passed by Congress: the US bailout. First and foremost, this comprehensive legislation will quickly set the guns to crush this virus, help schools reopen safely, and provide direct financial assistance to the Mainers. As of this writing, over 100 million Americans have already received a check for $ 1,400. If you were among them, know that I was proud to fight for you to receive this direct relief.

This once-in-a-generation pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 500,000 Americans, including more than 700 Mainers, and has affected the livelihoods of millions of people. Here in Maine, more than 8,000 people are threatened with eviction or seizure, 215,000 do not have enough to eat and more than 100,000 lost their jobs at some point in 2020.

Given these factors, economists have been clear: Congress needs to go big with this back-up plan. In fact, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said: “It’s better to err in excess than too little. Interest rates are zero, inflation is low, unemployment is high. You don’t need a manual to know it’s when you hit the tax accelerator. Experts further estimate that the US bailout could create 10 million US jobs. This package successfully balances short-term efforts to curb the public health emergency and our long-term economic recovery – which is why I voted in favor.

The thousands of Maine residents who are behind on their rent or mortgage need help now. The US bailout is providing more than $ 25 billion in rental assistance, nearly $ 10 billion in homeowner assistance, and $ 5 billion in utilities to keep people in their homes across the country.

Before the pandemic, Maine ranked 12th in the country for food insecurity. One in five children in Maine goes hungry. Tragically, the economic crisis has only made hunger worse in our state: now over 200,000 people in Maine are food insecure. The US bailout is increasing SNAP benefits until the fall, which means an average of $ 28 more per person per month to help the Mainers make ends meet.

The US bailout will be a huge relief for working parents juggling their jobs and caring for children at home. More specifically, the package provides the necessary resources to fully open our schools and daycares. I am very happy that schools in Maine are receiving approximately $ 411 million to help Maine students return safely to class and approximately $ 119 million in stabilization funds to help Maine child care providers keep their doors open.

This historic bill will also cut child poverty in half by establishing our country’s first periodic child benefit. Therefore, nearly 15,000 children in Maine lifted out of poverty, creating a life-changing opportunity for the next generation and their parents. Although this extension of the child tax credit is only valid for one year, I hope it will be made permanent.

It’s no secret that our cities and towns saw their budgets run dry because they worked to protect us when the pandemic hit. Our local governments would have faced tough cuts to essential services without federal help. These cuts could have set our communities back years, if not decades. The US bailout could provide up to $ 1.037 billion to Maine and $ 648 million to municipal governments in Maine to ensure financial recovery for our communities.

Like previous back-up plans, the US bailout provides a lifeline for our small businesses with additional Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) and Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) funding and eligibility extended to PPP loans. The US bailout is the first relief bill to include $ 25 billion in targeted funding just for restaurants and bars, which will ensure our restaurants don’t have to compete with other small businesses for them. PPP or EIDL loans. Helping small businesses is especially important in a state like Maine, where 99% of our businesses meet SBA guidelines for “small businesses” and employ nearly 60% of Maine’s workforce, including the family farms which also feed us. Specific funding has also been set aside to support the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation industries.

As someone who has long believed that government can and should be a force for good in our lives, I am proud to have supported this bill from the start. Families in Maine have already felt immense relief that this bill has been enacted, and I know more benefits will come soon.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.