“Economic impact payments are survival checks…Narrowing eligibility requirements despite continued bipartisan support would risk providing struggling families and an economy in turmoil with too little support.”
WASHINGTON – As negotiations over the next COVID-19 relief package continue, U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE) led more than 100 of their colleagues today in urging Congressional leadership not to strip survival checks from millions of people who utilize these checks to help their family withstand this devastating crisis. The letter’s 104 signers represent a geographically and ideologically diverse section of the Democratic caucus.
“For the millions of people nationwide who are unemployed, economic impact payments are survival checks. Indeed, they may be the only form of relief that people receive, in particular among communities of color that face barriers to obtain assistance. Narrowing eligibility requirements despite continued bipartisan support would risk providing struggling families and an economy in turmoil with too little support. We must ensure robust access to these survival checks to ensure an equitable and robust economic recovery for those individuals affected and the families that depend on them,” the lawmakers wrote. “Reducing eligibility of economic impact payments would exclude many people from crucial, much-needed relief. Economic impact payments would likely use 2019 tax data to measure an individual’s income. However, this data does not reflect the fact that millions of people lost their jobs in 2020, due to COVID-19—the very condition that necessitates survival checks. In addition, millions more suffered reduction in hours or pay, experienced contracts being canceled, or lost a business. Data from people who filed for unemployment shows that more than 20 percent of those earning between $50,000 and $70,000 were food insecure. This is a 16 percent increase from 2019 and explains why food banks across the country are struggling to serve communities.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.
The letter is signed by U.S. Representatives Alma S. Adams, Pete Aguilar, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Karen Bass, Joyce Beatty, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D., Brendan Boyle, Anthony G. Brown, Cori Bush, G. K. Butterfield, André Carson, Kathy Castor, Joaquin Castro, Judy Chu, David N. Cicilline Yvette D. Clarke Emanuel Cleaver, II J. Luis Correa, Charlie Crist, Jason Crow, Madeleine Dean, Diana DeGette, Val Demings, Mark DeSaulnier, Debbie Dingell, Veronica Escobar, Adriano Espaillat, Lizzie Fletcher, Bill Foster, Lois Frankel, Ruben Gallego, Sylvia R. Garcia, Jesús G. “Chuy” García Jimmy Gomez, Raúl M. Grijalva, Alcee L. Hastings, Jahana Hayes, Steven Horsford, Jared Huffman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Sara Jacobs, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Mondaire Jones, Robin L. Kelly, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ann McLane Kuster, John B. Larson, Brenda L. Lawrence, Barbara Lee, Teresa Leger Fernández, Andy Levin, Mike Levin, Alan Lowenthal, Carolyn B. Maloney, Lucy McBath, Donald McEachin, James P. McGovern, Jerry McNerney, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Gwen Moore, Jerrold Nadler, Grace F. Napolitano, Marie Newman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tom O’Halleran, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Raul Ruiz, Mary Gay Scanlon, Jan Schakowsky, Terri Sewell, Albio Sires, Adam Smith, Darren Soto, Jackie Speier, Haley Stevens, Mark Takano, Mike Thompson, Rashida Tlaib, Norma J. Torres, Ritchie Torres, Lori Trahan, Juan Vargas, Marc Veasey, Filemon Vela, Nydia M. Velázquez, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Maxine Waters, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Susan Wild, and Nikema Williams.