For Immediate Release
Contact: Omar Tewfik

Saunders hails passage of American Rescue Plan; calls for swift Senate action

AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement responding to the House of Representatives vote to pass the American Rescue Plan:

“On this date in 2020, there were less than 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States. Exactly one year later, we are mourning the deaths of more than half a million people, still coping with massive job loss and grappling with a once-in-a-century national crisis. From the very beginning, AFSCME members have answered the call the way we always do in moments of great challenge, doing everything possible to contain the damage, protect our communities and keep the pandemic from becoming even worse.

“Now, help could finally be on its way. House passage today of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan moves us one step closer to the investments needed to crush this virus, distribute the vaccine, reopen our schools and revitalize the economy. The bill would provide $350 billion in aid to cash-starved states, cities and towns, so we can maintain and restore vital public services that have been on the chopping block. This funding would save the jobs of countless everyday heroes who, for the dangers they have confronted and the sacrifices they have made, have been thanked with pink slips – roughly 1.3 million public service jobs have evaporated over the last year.

“The Senate must now move quickly and decisively, passing a strong bill that provides the relief our families and communities need and getting it to the president’s desk in short order. We have waited too long already. It is time to fund the front lines.”


AFSCME's 1.4 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. With members in communities across the nation, serving in hundreds of different occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and freedom and opportunity for all working families.