Senate Republicans this week introduced a woefully inadequate COVID relief package, and we were glad to see it fail to pass this afternoon on the Senate floor. The bill was a cynical attempt by lawmakers to enact nominal COVID relief without taking meaningful action to address the suffering of millions of families struggling to stay afloat.
The bill brought to the floor today would have done nothing to protect people from hunger and eviction, but would have protected corporations from lawsuits when they fail to keep customers and employees safe. It would have conditioned education aid on opening schools in dangerous conditions and funneled money away from public schools and toward private schools. It would have provided no new cash payments for families and no funding for states that will have to slash services and fire public workers to balance their budgets unless they receive additional federal funds.
In short, it was an unserious proposal that offered little more than an insult to the millions of families that are continuing to suffer the impacts of this pandemic. Despite the failure of the bill, some Senate Republicans are preparing to head home instead of negotiating a proper package with the Democratic minority. That’s unacceptable. According to the most recent Census data, more than half of all American families with children have lost income since March. Almost 4.7 million households with children are behind on their rent and almost half of those households report it is either very or somewhat likely that they will have to leave their home due to eviction in the next two months.
These families need more help. They need robust rental assistance, another round of direct cash payments, and so much more. They deserve more than a cheap political stunt.
A full list of our asks for the next relief bill can be found here.