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And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40 NRSV

MARCH 10, 2021, WASHINGTON, DC — The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), as part of the Circle of Protection, welcomes the passing of the American Rescue Plan. This bill is especially significant for poor and low-income people who have been among the hardest hit by the global pandemic for a year now. It is an important step toward 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 Biden administration officials urging them to pass another round of COVID relief to address the “concurrent crises of the pandemic, economic recession, and systemic racism.” The letter also asked members of Congress from both parties to work together to address the urgent needs of millions of Americans.

The NCC has urged the Biden administration to work with Congress and use the tools at its disposal to ensure that people are safe and have their basic needs met as we fight this global pandemic. During this crisis, NCC continues to call for the extension of unemployment benefits and the expansion of federal programs, like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and Child Tax Credit (CTC).

“I am grateful to Congress and President Biden for the passage of the American Rescue Plan,” commented Jim Winkler, NCC President and General Secretary, “I would note, however, that if a broad-based coalition of Christian groups, spanning theological and ideological divides, could come together to support this legislation then there is no excuse for Congress not to overwhelmingly vote for what is a popular bill that will reduce poverty, provide much needed assistance to states and localities, and fund schools. Congress has more work to do, namely, to ensure that every worker in this nation earns a living wage. I urge them to move forward as quickly as possible.”

The economic collapse due to the pandemic has shined a light on the weakness of America’s social safety net, including economic and healthcare inequities, and the tenuous nature of our purported prosperity. NCC pledges to continue to advocate for our nation’s resources to be utilized to help the most vulnerable among us.


The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) serves as a leading voice of witness to the living Christ in the public square since 1950 and brings together 38 member communions, more than 35 million Christians, in a common commitment to God’s love and promise of unity.

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. 

NCC Policy Priorities for 2021

Now is a Time to Imagine a Bold New Future