WASHINGTON, DC — Sojourners, as part of the Circle of Protection, welcomes the passing of the American Rescue Plan. This bill is especially important for poor and low-income people who have been struggling for a year now. We see this as an important step to recovery and helping communities that have been disproportionately affected by the dual health and economic crises. 

The Circle of Protection sent a letter late last month to all members of Congress and key members of the Biden administration urging them to pass another round of COVID relief to address the “concurrent crises of the pandemic, economic recession, and systemic racism.” We also asked in the letter for members of Congress from both parties to work together to address the urgent needs of millions of Americans. 

“The passing of the American Rescue Plan is a major step in protecting the most vulnerable of this nation, including a critical expansion of the child tax credit that will nearly halve child poverty,” Rev. Adam Taylor, President of Sojourners, said. “We must continue to advocate for the communities that are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and other systems of injustice.”

“The ARP would provide real relief for Americans facing poverty and economic insecurity — something that is core to people of faith and essential for the common good,” Rev. Jim Wallis, Founder and Ambassador of Sojourners, said in an op-ed for Religion News Service. “This is such good news to low-income Americans facing brutal poverty accelerated by this pandemic.”

The Circle of Protection is a broad and unprecedented coalition of church and ministry leaders from the main families of U.S. Christianity — Catholic, evangelical Protestant, ecumenical Protestant, the Historic African American churches, and Latino churches — working to address issues of poverty and hunger through advocacy work. Together, the church bodies in the Circle of Protection have close to 100 million members.