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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez announces bid for swift approval of the American Rescue Plan on February 18, 2021. (Photo: YouTube.)

Menendez wants fast approval of American Rescue Plan

By David Wildstein, February 18 2021 4:12 pm

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is pushing for the expedited passage of a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that would include funding to speed up the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations, increase stimulus checks to $2,000 and offer direct assistance to keep essential workers employed.

“We need bold action and fast,” Menendez said.  “People want to get back to their lives.  To me, that’s what this bill is about.

The proposal includes unemployment benefit and housing protection extensions, school reopenings, and aide for small businesses.

“The American Rescue Plan is about rescuing the American way of life, so our children and grandchildren can learn in classrooms instead of on computer screens, so we can gather with loved ones instead of worrying about getting them sick, so that we can join hands in our houses of worship to uplift each other in prayer, and so that we can reconnect with each other and restore a sense of community and common purpose in towns and cities large and small across the nation,” stated Menendez.

The legislation provides $1,400 direct payments to individuals making less than $75,000 annually, or couples making less than $150,000.  That’s in addition to $600 checks that were approved last December.

Menendez was joined at a press event by Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark.

“One of the most pressing issues that I’ve shared with Sen. Menendez is the shortfalls that have been experienced by our volunteer fire and EMS departments,” Kazmark said.  “They maintain their own buildings with 90% of their funding coming from donations, which has all but dried up due to the pandemic.”

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