Press Release

Gillibrand Applauds Biden’s American Rescue Plan, Inclusion Of Emergency Paid Leave, Health Force And State And Local Funding

Jan 14, 2021

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand applauded President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which includes among its provisions emergency paid sick and family leave, a Health Force proposal, and direct state and local funding. Gillibrand has spent months fighting for these critical measures, which will help American families recover from the unprecedented public health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“I applaud President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which will help working families recover from this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. While every aspect of this plan is critical, I’m proud that it contains several of my key priorities, including emergency paid leave, a Health Force proposal and direct funding for state and local governments.

“Paid leave is one of the single most impactful policies we can enact to help working families survive the public health and economic crisis. The emergency paid leave provision will ensure that no one has to choose between a paycheck and safeguarding the health of their family.” 

Gillibrand, the foremost champion of paid leave in the U.S. Senate, has long pushed for emergency paid sick and family leave in Covid relief legislation. In March, she helped craft the PAID Leave Act, and on January 13, sent a letter to President-elect Biden and congressional leadership calling for emergency paid leave in the upcoming aid package. 

Gillibrand continued, “The public health jobs program closely mirrors my Health Force proposal, and will put one hundred thousand public health workers into communities to aid vaccine outreach and contact tracing, creating jobs in the hardest hit communities.”

In April 2020, Gillibrand and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) released their proposal to provide jobs for thousands of recently unemployed Americans and directly support the nation’s efforts to recover from the current crisis through vaccine distribution and contact tracing. In January 2021, Gillibrand announced that she would introduce Health Force legislation as her first bill in the new Congress.  

Gillibrand concluded, “For months, I have worked to get funding for our state and local governments and helped write the framework to deliver it. This is funding for firefighters, nurses and teachers, and it will ensure we aren’t forced to cut these vital services in the midst of a pandemic. 

The American Rescue Plan demonstrates that President-elect Biden’s administration understands the urgency of this crisis. I am looking forward to helping pass the American Rescue Plan to deliver much-needed relief to the American people and to put our country on the path to recovery.”

Throughout 2020, Gillibrand traveled across New York State to stand with state and local officials and call for direct funding for state and local governments. Along with Senator Schumer and Senate colleagues, Gillibrand also authored the Direct Support for Communities Act, which would create a local relief fund to help cities, towns, villages, and counties address costs associated with lost revenues, and would help avoid cuts to essential services or local tax and fee increases.