March 18, 2021

By Bertram Keller

Contributing Writer


Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) organized a ceremonial press call to discuss the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, U.S. Representative for Ohio's 3rd District, moderated most of the discussions and “yielded” to each congressmember’s perspective.

During the call, Congress­woman Beatty made it clear that, “The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is the next critical step in providing Americans with resources and the support necessary to drive our national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Congresswoman Barbra Lee, U.S. Representative for California’s 13rd District stated, “As a member of the budget appropriations committee, all of us worked together to get California Black Caucus (CBC) priorities in this relief package.”

U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jefferies of New York’s 8th District stated, “Every single facet of The American Rescue Plan has been shaped by the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)…

Shaped by our House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, who also [is Chairman of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis] and has continued to make sure that taxpayer’s dollars are spent ‘effective, efficient, and equitable.’”

Congressman James E. Clyburn, U.S. Representative of South Carolina’s 6th District briefly spoke about his dispute with the CDC last year, noting that “several months ago when we identified some problems with interference by the previous administration.”


Congressman Clyburn’s remarks alluded to his 2020 subpoena against Trump Administration appointees, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex M. Azar II and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert R. Redfield for more than three months of obstruction of key documents.




Despite Congressman Clyburn’s allegations against Azar and Redfield, he believes “We don’t expect that kind of interference coming from this administration;” indicating that the Biden Administration emerges as a more reliable government. “As you know in my role as chair of this select subcommittee is to make sure that whatever expenditures made by the congress—are made efficiently, effectively, and equitably.”

Congressmember Robert C. Scott, U.S. Representative of Virginia’s 3rd District and Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor said in his opening statement, “The historic American Rescue Plan (ARP) will bring relief for students, workers, and families.”

Congressmember Scott claimed that the ARP contains “key components of committee led bills;” such as, the Reopen and Rebuild American Schools Act, Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act, and Affordable Care Act.

Scott stated, “The American Rescue Plan [has made] the most significant one-time investment in K-12 education in our nation’s history. Nearly a $130 billion dollars in funding will help schools to repair dangerous facilities and repair classrooms to restore in-person instruction safely.”



According to Scott, the record setting investments will “help schools make up for lost time in the classroom,” providing smaller classes, longer school days, more resources for summer classes, and the resources needed to comply with the new CDC guidelines for safe reopening.

Although, the congressman did not mention a set date for the reopening of in-person education.


The Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act (EPPRA) restores finances to failing pension plans known as multiemployer plan. Without it, some 1.5 million workers and retirees pension incomes would be cut over the next 20 years or sooner.

According to Congressman Scott, “[The EPPRA] prevents over 1 million grocery store workers, construction workers, and other workers from losing their hard-earned retirement benefits.

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) adopts this legislation to fully protect retirees’ benefits and saves approximately $100 billion of taxpayers money over the next 10 years.”

As a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak, millions of workers have lost their jobs—following unprecedented business closures and mass layoffs.

“Regrettably, when you lose your job, you lose your insurance, and that’s when you need the coverage the most.”

According to Scott, “The significant investments in strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will make healthcare much more affordable for millions of Americans as we confront the public health emergency.”

As well as “include a version of The Worker Health Coverage Protection Act to provide premium-free COBRA coverage.”

With the CBC in complete in support of Biden’s emergency provisions, CBC members ensure that their work is not finished.


According to Congresswoman Barbra Lee, “We will continue to dismantle systemic racism in our public health system, provide urgently needed relief to our communities of color and ensure that the black community not only survives this pandemic but thrives thereafter.”

Category: Business