Congressional Stimulus Doesn’t Go Far Enough

March 26, 2020 10:04 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Marisol Bello, [email protected]

Congressional Stimulus Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Important Breakthrough on Unemployment Expansion and Cash Payments but Scale and Inclusion are Huge Gaps

Washington, D.C. – The final stimulus package approved by the Senate and expected to go to the House on Friday contains important relief for working families that low-income people, community organizers and many Democrats fought hard for. There are good first steps in delivering badly needed financial assistance to struggling families, something we have been working on for years.  The expansion of Unemployment Insurance and income support are an important first step that will begin to help millions of people right away. 

There is more to do though. Millions more people have been left out and Congress must do the work to ensure everyone has the basic support to survive without work during this pandemic and access to healthcare and essential help for care giving duties. 

Community Change President Dorian Warren and Community Change Action President Lorella Praeli release the following statements in response to today’s stimulus package:

Dorian Warren: “No one should have to choose between putting themselves and their families at risk by going to work in a pandemic or feeding their family and paying rent. We need to pull together, no matter our race, where we were born or how much money we have in our wallets if we are going to survive this crisis. We know the hardest and first hit during downturns are low-income people, particularly women of color, and in many cases, older men of color. We can and must do better to make sure everyone has what they need right now. It’s the only way to ensure we are addressing the immediate need and setting ourselves up for a stronger economy when the crisis passes. This means making a $100 billion investment in child care so emergency workers can have access to safe care and childcare providers do not lose their businesses during the crisis. It means adequate and recurring cash assistance to all families, no matter their work status or immigration status, and it means adequate healthcare, paid leave and sick time so families can get healthy and limit the spread of the virus.”

Lorella Praeli: “Instead of bailing out corporations, Congress  must put families first and ensure they have what they need to get through the crisis. Pandemics don’t discriminate based on race, gender, immigration status or occupation. In times of great uncertainty, it is the workers we depend on that hurt the most–the women of color who care for our children and seniors, the essential workers who receive hourly pay at grocery stores and pharmacies, the farmworkers who put food on our table, the restaurant workers, the healthcare workers, and the people who clean our homes and buildings. These workers are the foundation of our economy and yet they are often made invisible; solutions from Washington must help all, especially the most vulnerable. That includes providing free COVID-19 testing and care for all; suspending practices and policies that further endanger immigrant communities, such as ICE enforcement and the public charge rule; expanding unemployment insurance and cash payments to all people, including immigrants who pay taxes using an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number); and automatically extend protection for DACA recipients and TPS holders to ensure people have stability and the ability to stay safe.”

This package bails out companies for a year, while it only helps American families for a few months at best. For the vast number of Americans finding themselves out of work, struggling to make ends meet, the stimulus offers a band-aid over a gaping wound and leaves millions of immigrants out. Even before the coronavirus, many households couldn’t afford even a $400 unexpected expense.

We must  ensure we don’t leave anyone without healthcare and adequate resources in this unprecedented time of uncertainty. Congress must lead to guarantee that the next stimulus package includes relief for everyone. Community Change Action has outlined a full set of demands to meet the moment. They include:

  1. Expand cash payments in size, make them ongoing until the economy recovers and ensure immigrants have full access to them.
  2. $100 billion investment in child care so emergency workers can have access to safe care.
  3. Expand Unemployment Insurance to cover all workers, including self employed and all immigrants, and ensure states deliver maximum benefits over time. 
  4. Billions more in aid to states and localities whose workers are on the front lines of delivering public services during this crisis.
  5. Ensure everyone has access to free COVID-19 testing and treatment.
  6. Automatically extend protection for DACA recipients and TPS holders to ensure people have stability and the ability to stay safe.”
  7. Suspend practices and policies that further endanger immigrant communities, such as immigration enforcement and the public charge rule.

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Community Change and its sister organization Community Change Action are national social justice organizations that build the power of low-income people, especially people of color.

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