STATEMENT: Bipartisan Relief Proposal a Necessary First Step for Recovery
Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators announced a proposal for a COVID-19 relief package. Following the announcement, Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
Over the past seven months, the U.S. House of Representatives has twice passed relief bills comprehensive enough to meet our country’s unprecedented public health and economic crisis. Beyond these bills, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has also repeatedly sought to negotiate with the Senate and the White House to arrive at a compromise package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his White House allies have repeatedly blocked relief. As a result of their obstructionism, millions of people are at risk of losing their homes and the unemployment insurance that has allowed them to keep food on the table. It is absolutely imperative that Congress quickly pass a relief bill that would keep families from falling into poverty, support the faltering economy, and adequately fund vaccine distribution.
The bipartisan proposals released yesterday offer a good starting point for renewed negotiations. The proposal includes important provisions such as the renewal of the supplemental unemployment insurance program and funds for vaccine distribution. While CAP has repeatedly called for a larger, more comprehensive relief bill that includes provisions such as paid leave, we believe that the urgency of the situation calls for immediate action to avert what could become a humanitarian and economic disaster and imperil distribution of the vaccine. If passed, yesterday’s proposal would serve as an important first step on the road to recovery.
Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have stated their willingness to work with this bipartisan group to reach a compromise. It is time for Leader McConnell and his allies in the White House to do the same and enter into good faith negotiations to save lives and prevent families and the broader economy from falling into ruin.
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