New relief package includes $600 direct payments for individuals plus $600 per child, $300 a week of expanded unemployment assistance, rental and nutrition assistance, support for small businesses and funding to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine
WASHINGTON — United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement after voting to approve an additional COVID-19 relief package that puts money directly in people’s pockets:
“Just one week ago, this COVID-19 package cruelly failed to include survival checks to help families across Washington and throughout the country put food on the table, keep the heat on, make rent, pay the bills and withstand this crisis. I am proud to have led progressives in uniting to say that any package must include relief checks and enhanced unemployment assistance — the two most effective ways to put money directly in people’s pockets.
“Our advocacy on behalf of the millions who are screaming out for help secured these critical provisions. This relief package also includes rental and nutrition assistance, aid for small businesses and support for schools, health care, child care and broadband. Additionally, it renews eviction moratoriums and sets aside funding to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. Importantly, it also finally makes mixed-status families eligible for survival checks and ensures they can retroactively receive the relief check that they were previously excluded from.
“While I am glad that progressives were able to dramatically improve the package by securing survival checks and removing an anti-worker corporate handout, we must be clear that this is only the very beginning. Congress’ top priority in the new year needs to be to urgently work with the Biden-Harris administration to pass a robust relief bill that actually meets the scale of this devastating crisis. At the heart of it must be putting money in people’s pockets, keeping people in their homes, sending grants to businesses to cover payroll and rehire workers, guaranteeing health care — including the vaccine — to everyone and making bold investments in states, cities and local communities across America.
“This unprecedented devastation demands an unprecedented response. It demands a response that gives certainty and security to the single parents and families who write to me as they try to make ends meet without nearly enough help. It demands a response that lifts up working people and the small businesses they power. And it demands a response that ensures people can not only survive but thrive. Today’s package is a first step — and an important bridge to the start of a new administration — but I will not allow it to be the last.”
Issues: Health Care