March 11, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) celebrated as President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan¸ a desperately-needed and overdue comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill, into law. The legislative package contains key provisions supported by Senator King that will help bring this deadly pandemic under control and provide critical support to families across the country who are currently struggling to make ends meet. Senator King voted in support of the American Rescue Plan on Saturday, highlighted the bill’s benefits to Maine in an op-ed for the Portland Press Herald, and has emphasized provisions he fought for in the bill to support broadband infrastructure across the country.
“Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 500,000 of our family, friends, and neighbors, and exacted a devastating toll on our economy. In the face of a catastrophe of this scale, the American people need bold federal leadership to help bring this virus under control and address the pandemic’s impact on every aspect of our society,” said Senator King. “The American Rescue Plan is the right bill for this critical moment – and with President Biden’s signature today, I am thrilled to tell Maine people that help is on the way. It is time to beat this virus down and lift our economy up – for all of us.
“This package will address the ongoing public health emergency by providing ample funding to support vaccination, testing, tracing, and other key medical needs that are required to control this virus. But as all Americans know, this crisis did not only affect our nation’s health – it attacked our economy, strained working families, endangered small businesses, and exacerbated longstanding inequalities that have been left unaddressed for decades. The American Rescue Plan confronts these challenges as well – through extended unemployment insurance, stimulus checks, funding to aid small businesses, a dedicated fund for restaurants, additional resources for school districts, increased support for working families and historic investments to expand broadband access by closing the digital divide. The list goes on and on, because the damage of this pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of American life.
“The American people agree that American Rescue Plan is exactly the bill we need to meet this moment, with recent polling showing that 77% of the American public supports this plan, including 6 in 10 Republicans. This type of consensus is rare to find in our increasingly divided society, and reflects the immense need being felt by so many of our citizens. I am immensely proud to have supported this bill to deliver help to Maine people in need, and stand ready to continue working with my colleagues and the White House to take any additional action that is needed to beat this pandemic.”