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Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Highlights Key Provisions in American Rescue Plan to Support Texans During COVID-19 Pandemic

In Addition to $1,400 Economic Impact Payments, ARP Also Increases Child Income Tax Credit, Strengthens Food Security, Extends Federal Unemployment Assistance

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) today highlighted how the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) supports Texas families, workers, and individuals through the COVID-19 pandemic with the following statement.  The ARP provides a new round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to an estimated 88 percent of Texans, expands federal unemployment impact benefits through September 6, 2021, and supports families by strengthening and expanding the federal Child Tax Credit and bolstering food security initiatives. 

“Over the last year, people across our community and our country have navigated the unprecedented health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many people who found themselves in new and challenging situations, including struggling to find work, to put food on the table, or to pay rent, have called my office for help,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “I am glad to say that help is on the way and that the American Rescue Plan provides the support so many people need right now.  I was proud to work in Congress to pass this transformative legislation that supports our community and our neighbors across the country during this time.” 

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides the following support to Texans: 

A new round of Economic Impact Payments: 

  • Payments include:
    • $1,400 per eligible taxpayer (phasing out between $75,000 and $80,000 for Single/Married Filing Separately taxpayers); 
    • $2,800 per eligible married couples (phasing out between $150,000 and $160,000 for Married Filing Jointly taxpayers); and 
    • $1,400 per qualifying dependent with a SSN—both a child and non-child dependent regardless of age (phasing out between $112,500 and $120,000 for Head of Household taxpayers).
  • The White House estimates that 17,283,400 adults and 8,098,300 children inTexas are eligible to receive Economic Impact Payments through the ARP, approximately 88 percent of both adults and children in the state.
  • To check the status of your payment, use the “Get My Payment” tool at


Extended Federal Unemployment Insurance: 

  • The ARP extends federal Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits with a $300 weekly increase through September 6, 2021.  These benefits were originally set to expire on March 14, 2021. 
  • Since February 2020, more than 500,432 fewer people in Texas are employed.  The unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, up from 3.7 percent before the pandemic.
  • CARES Act benefits to provide pandemic relief for unemployed Americans were expanded, including:
    • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC); 
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA); and 
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). 
  • Workers receiving UI in 2021 automatically qualify for the highest possible Premium Tax Credit to buy health insurance through the marketplace.
  • For those making less than $150,000 per year, any unemployment compensation paid in 2020 up to $10,200 is non-taxable. 

Support for Families with Children: 

  • ARP increases the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children under 18. 
    • According to the White House, the additional relief provided through the Child Tax Credit is estimated to go to 6,696,000 families in Texas, helping lift 503,000 Texas children out of poverty. 
    • Taxpayers can receive the credit even if their tax bill is zero. 
    • Eligible persons include:
      • Single filers earning $75,000 a year or less receive full credit. The credit amount decreases based on income (phasing out at $200,000/year); 
      • Heads of household earning $112,500 and under; and 
      • Married couples earning $150,000 per year or less receive full credit. The credit amount decreases based on income (phasing out at $400,000/year).
    • Families will receive half the credit as an advance on 2021 taxes and can claim the other half on their 2021 tax return. These advance payments begin July 1, 2021. 
  • Strengthens the Child and Dependent Tax Credit (CDTC), allowing families to claim up to half of their childcare expenses. 
    • The CDTC is fully refundable for the 2021 tax year, meaning that taxpayers can collect the credit even if their tax bill is zero.
    • The plan increases dependent care costs from $3,000 to $8,000 for a single dependent and from $6,000 to $16,000 for two or more dependents. 
    • These changes are in effect only for the 2021 calendar year.


Strengthens food security to help families put food on the table:

  • Extends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) maximum benefits by 15 percent through September 30, 2021;
  • Provides $1.1 billion in additional SNAP administrative funds to states to help meet the demand of increased caseloads and $25 million to improve the state SNAP online pilots; 
  • Allocates $800 million for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)—supporting low-income women and infants—and temporarily boosts the value of WIC Cash Value Vouchers for vulnerable mothers and their children; 
  • Secures $37 million to cover food shortfalls in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which seeks to improve the health and nutrition of low-income Americans over 60 years old through access to nutritious food; 
  • Invests more than $5 billion in the Pandemic-EBT Program so that low-income families have access to school meals and food assistance during both the school year and summer months; and 
  • Expands access to the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to ensure more young adults can access needed nutrition support.


Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): 

  • The ARP increases the maximum credit for Childless EITC from $532 to $1,502—the most significant EITC expansion since 2009.  It also reduces the minimum age to claim the Childless EITC from 25 to 19 (except full-time students) and eliminates the upper age limit.
  • In Texas, this additional relief would benefit 1,404,000 childless workers.