WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) issued the following statement upon Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan:


“Today, Senate Democrats delivered on our promise to act boldly and swiftly to end this pandemic and send relief to the families, communities and businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. The American Rescue Plan will put the United States on a path to defeat this virus once and for all and restore opportunity in our economy for hardworking families all across the nation.
 


“With this legislation, we have set the stage for the Biden Administration to launch an aggressive national vaccination campaign critical, not only to saving lives, but ultimately to restoring the sense of normalcy families crave in every corner of this country.
 
“While I am disappointed not a single Republican colleague joined us in this effort, make no mistake, their constituents will benefit greatly from the financial relief Democrats fought for in this bill. Our legislation puts another $1,400 in the pockets of working people, keeps the unemployed afloat, makes student debt relief tax-free, delivers historic tax relief to families with children, and helps millions of people avoid eviction and foreclosure
 
“This legislation invests billions to help schools reopen safely and provides direct aid to state and local governments across America reeling from the enormous costs of responding to the worst pandemic in a century. I expect nearly $9.5 billion in direct, flexible assistance to flow to New Jersey with aid going to every single municipality in our state, a priority I have long fought for throughout the duration of this crisis.
 
“Additionally, as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am pleased that this bill makes a $10 billion down-payment on fighting COVID-19 worldwide, because the longer we allow this virus to spread around the globe the more it will mutate into new strains that threaten American lives and our national security.
 
“I urge my colleagues in the House to pass the American Rescue Plan without delay. To me, this legislation is ultimately about rescuing the American way of life, so that our children can learn in classrooms instead of on computer screens, so that we can gather with loved ones without fear, so that we can join hands in prayer in our houses of worship, enjoy a night out at our favorite restaurants, and rebuild a spirit of community across our country that we have all missed out on over the last year.”