American Rescue Plan proposes $15 minimum wage, 100k new jobs and more

Last updated: July 16, 2024
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American Rescue Plan proposes $15 minimum wage, 100k new jobs and more
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With many Americans looking toward the new year with concern, new plans have been laid out by incoming lawmakers to provide guidance forward through the many challenges facing American workers and families today.

What is the American Rescue Plan?

The American Rescue Plan, released last week, offers a glimpse into what aide could be incoming in 2021 to help Americans grapple with the effect of the #coronavirus pandemic. Plans include a call for a third $1,400 stimulus payment, enhancements to the unemployment system and more, covered below.

What else could the American Rescue Plan do?

The American Rescue Plan is different from a bill in that it will not be directly voted on by Congress in its entirety. The document, however, creates an outline for Americans on the programs the incoming government plans to submit to congress as soon as possible to get COVID-19 relief efforts on track. Aside from a stimulus check and unemployment payment increases, Americans can expect many incoming efforts to strengthen workers, families and businesses.

Plans for workers

Create and fund 100k new jobs in public health

Part of a new $20 billion COVID-19 vaccine initiative will include that a portion of funding be dedicated to creating and funding new public health jobs, an estimated 100k jobs nationwide, to help maintain safety standards throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Jobs that would be funded through this program would be jobs like:

  • Vaccine outreach
  • Contact tracing
  • Community focused service roles

Raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hr

The new plan cites low wages as a main cause of strife to American workers through the pandemic, as many have struggled to cover the additional costs that the pandemic has required them to take on. This change would require all businesses, including those that pay tip-wages to jobs like restaurant servers, to provide a base-hourly rate of $15 per hour to all their employees.

Emergency paid leave funding for 106 million more workers

Workers who are experiencing a lack of PTO for emergencies like illness, childcare and other life events during the pandemic could get help through this plan. Under this plan, which would last through September 2021, more workers would be able to take time off without being in danger of losing money they need to support themselves and their families.

Employers would also be required to give employees their weekly pay in full up to a maximum of $1,400 per week while on emergency paid leave. While no employer would be exempt from providing this benefit to their employees, employers with less than 500 employees would be able to recover the cost of paid leave expenses due to this program in their next year’s taxes.

Require frontline employers to provide back-hazard pay

Frontline employees who have been working through the pandemic without hazard pay for their efforts may get a financial boost as well. In this plan, employers with frontline employers would be required to provide back-paid hazard pay to anyone who worked in a frontline, COVID-19 exposed job during the pandemic.

Additional OSHA funding for COVID-19 safety at work

This plan would also allocate more funding to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to put toward enforcing COVID-19 safe workplaces. This step would ensure that all workers are effectively protected from the spread of virus to the current safety standards while they work.

Plans for families

Help renters and homeowners avoid homelessness

Renters and homeowners who are struggling to make rent or mortgage payments would also be covered in this plan. The plan seeks to prevent homelessness in three main ways:

  1. Continuing eviction and foreclosure forbearance through September 2021
  2. Provide rental/utility bill support funding for renters and small landlords
  3. Provide funding for safe residences for those facing homelessness during the pandemic

Extend food benefit services to combat hunger

Federal nutrition programs like SNAP and WIC would get a boost in funding under this plan to handle the influx of families who are currently having trouble keeping food on the table. This plan would also expand benefit qualifications to include up to 40 million more Americans. This coverage would last through September 2021 or the end of the pandemic depending on how long the pandemic continues.

This initiative could also potentially put laid-off restaurant and food service workers back to work by partnering with restaurants to provide food to families in need through a FEMA funded program.

Expand funding and qualifications for child care assistance

For working parents with small children, finding childcare facilities has been a particular challenge throughout the pandemic. This plan would fund both childcare facilities and parents in need of childcare. Childcare providers would receive funding to cover the cost of additional coronavirus safety measures in their facilities in order to keep children and families safe. Childcare facilities who receive funding would also be required to lower their prices so parents can better afford their services.

Fund schools for online learning and safe reopening efforts

Working parents with school-aged children could also look forward to more funding toward their children's education and safety with more funding being allocated to school re-opening and online learning initiatives. The plan cites a need not to let children fall behind in schooling, regardless of their background or family’s economic status.

Want more stimulus information? 

Plans for businesses

$15 billion in grants to impacted small businesses

Small businesses have been hit especially hard as consumers cut personal spending due to financial insecurity. Small businesses that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic could get a grant from the government to help them rebuild and keep going through the pandemic. Unlike a loan, a grant doesn’t have to be repaid so businesses could accept this money without being accountable for an added cost later when a loan might become due. For employees of small businesses, a grant like this could also help to keep them employed.


What about you? How would you be helped by aspects of this plan?

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BEVERLEY SOUSAN
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I am honest, hardworking, considerate and caring. I love animals and enjoy outdoo

I agree with Michelle Manatan above!

2y
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Michelle Manatan
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Server at Bjs Restaurant Brewhouse

You just have to love how so many people commenting don't understand that CO'S are already rich and more than well afford to pay their employees. It's people like you all that want to keep the poor, destitute. None of you know what it's like to have to work 2 or 3 jobs just to stay afloat. While you lounge away on your retirement and social security, everyone else has to suffer through never being able to retire and dying on the job, when the time comes.

3y
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Anna Johnson
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Home Health Aide at Charlotte Vail

Our country will he destroyed from within using this plan. Ridiculous!

3y
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Lauren Blodgett
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Realtor at Fathom Realty

This plan is going to destroy our country this is the beginning of socialism and no one is going to be able to come out of this...

3y
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Glenn Myers
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I wouldn't be helped I don't believe this is a smart plan for America, especially for the future generations, who will be the ones paying for this. The $15 minimum wage will ruin small businesses and drive UP the price of everything we ALL buy. It sounds like a good wage until you factor in the increase of price of goods. Gas is now around 2.65 a gallon, an employer pays 11.50 wage, to cover that wage increase he would have to raise the price of gas and everything else he sells. Not a good Plan, not at all.

3y
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Vincent Iorio
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This is the socialist agenda that will destroy our country!

3y
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Fernando Rodriguez
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The American Plan will create more unemployment. Not too many businesses can afford to pay $15/hour. And it will bring inflation like you have never seen it. McDonald will charge $10 gor a lunch. Small business already have closed due to the pandemic and now we have a wage pandemic. We are in trouble? And then?

3y
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Nestor Rivera
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No pudes ponerla en es pañol

3y
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AL CAUDILLO
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Transit Driver Denver at First Transit

Wow, what a brilliant way to start the new year, for all people. I don’t think I know a single person who hasn’t be

3y
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