Statement of UAW President Rory L. Gamble on Passage of the American Recovery Program
Taking strong and decisive measures to end the pandemic and create a pathway for a speedy, equitable and sustained economic recovery, President Biden and Congress have made major strides toward protecting the health and safety of the American people.
The new law provides direct payments to struggling American taxpayers and extends weekly unemployment benefits for families in need through Labor Day and makes a substantial portion of aid from last year tax-free.
It provides $350 billion to state, local, and territorial governments who have laid off critical front-line workers including UAW members due to budget shortfalls. The law will help facilitate schools and colleges to reopen safely, while boosting Covid testing and vaccine distribution, and increasing food assistance and bringing relief to businesses around the country.
Included in the measure are expansion of subsidies to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for two years and temporarily increasing Medicaid funding to states that expand their programs. Congress and the Biden Administration had the foresight to include funding full COBRA subsidies.
This week marks the tragic anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 death in the United States, a pandemic which has cost over 525,000 American lives and millions of jobs. The UAW has worked closely and been encouraged by the Biden Administration and majority Congressional leadership but there is much more to do. The UAW looks forward to working closely with the Administration and Congress on policies that will provide a strong focus on the American worker for UAW members, their families and their communities.