SPRINGFIELD, MA — Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released the following statement regarding President Joe Biden’s latest Executive Order to provide additional economic relief to workers and families in an equitable manner:
“President Biden recognizes that the economic crisis in this nation is far from over. Workers and families continue to struggle and desperately need additional relief to make ends meet. Today’s action aims to provide that support, and to do so in a way that reflects the uneven nature of the crisis and its disproportionate impact on certain communities across the nation. The president is doing all he can to provide immediate assistance to folks as we diligently work to craft essential policies that require congressional approval to take effect.
“As I’ve said for nearly a year now, the economy will not recover as long as the pandemic is unchecked and workplace conditions remain unsafe. Workers are not responsible for COVID’s spread, and they shouldn’t be forced to put their wellbeing and their families’ health at risk to earn a living in these challenging times. I’m very glad that the president is calling on the Department of Labor to clarify that workers who refuse employment for health reasons will not be deprived of the unemployment insurance they’re otherwise eligible to receive. This change will be particularly impactful for frontline workers, a group that disproportionately consists of lower-income individuals and people of color.
“In addition to unemployment benefits, the economic impact payments that the Ways and Means Committee established in last year’s relief legislation provide critical aid to folks who need help affording basics like rent and groceries. Troublingly, millions of Americans still haven’t received the payments for which they are eligible. Today’s action will encourage the Treasury Department to explore new strategies to ensure that outstanding money reaches people’s pockets.
“I’m also pleased that the administration is eliminating Schedule F. The Ways and Means Committee previously called for this to be done, as it will preserve the nonpartisan nature of tax administration and limit the politicization of the federal government’s civil service.
“The President’s executive actions, coupled with the additional relief legislation Congress is busily preparing, are important steps to protect families and workers as we continue efforts to eradicate the virus and get the economy back on track.”
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