March 10, 2021
Alyson Malinger, West End Strategy Team
National Council of Jewish Women Celebrates Passage of COVID-19 Relief
The American Rescue plan will increase funding for child care support, testing, vaccine distribution, and unemployment insurance, among other necessary pandemic assistance
WASHINGTON– Today the American Rescue Plan, which will bring much-needed health care and economic relief to communities across the United States, was passed by the House of Representatives and expected to be signed into law by President Biden on Friday. National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) CEO Sheila Katz issued the following statement:
“The American Rescue Plan is a much-needed step on the long road toward recovery. National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is grateful for the President’s robust response and the quick work of lawmakers to meet the urgent needs of our communities. As we approach one year of uncertainty throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, we are pleased about the stabilization and tangible support that comes from this plan.
“The pandemic has been financially devastating to women, and women of color in particular. Women disproportionately make up the frontline workers responding to COVID-19 and have a large role in supporting their families, yet more women have either lost their jobs due to COVID-19 or left their jobs during the pandemic — the latter due to a lack of child care.
Thanks to NCJW advocates and so many partners, the American Rescue Plan provides $40 billion for the child care sector — added to the $10 billion already passed by Congress to shore up this desperately needed system. Childcare is essential care. Without it, there is no foundation for family security, or for the shaping of the next generation. Additionally, this critical funding will save hundreds of thousands of jobs and businesses (mostly for women and women-owned businesses), give families the support they need to return to work or school, and ensure that we will still have a child care system when the pandemic is over. Overall, this funding is estimated to slash poverty by a third this year and potentially cut child poverty in half.
“Multiple NCJW priorities to improve the lives of women, children, and families are covered as well such as $1400 stimulus payments to boost financial security (which includes 2.2 million US citizen and lawfully present children); aid to state and local governments to pay teachers, bus drivers, and other essential workers; nutrition assistance, a much-needed extension of Unemployment Insurance; crucial funding for COVID-19 testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution; and expanded subsidies to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And, we defeated a Senate attempt to expand abortion coverage bans.
“Despite our best efforts, a $15 minimum wage increase — which would have given 32 million workers a raise and emergency paid leave — is not in the final package. Both policies are critical to helping women, and mostly women of color, who are the majority of low-wage and tipped workers without a single paid sick day, obtain a solid foundation for personal financial stability.
“While the virus doesn’t discriminate, its impact amplifies centuries of discrimination. NCJW will remain committed to our values of equity and justice and continue working with Congress to secure these advancements to help the most vulnerable populations.”
To speak with Sheila Katz about the work NCJW is doing around the country to protect the vulnerable and lift up the voices of women, children, and families, please contact Alyson Malinger, firstname.lastname@example.org; 917-935-7311.
# # #
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 180,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice; and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.