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03/27/2020 | Federal Advocacy: Fighting Back & Fighting Forward

Center for Popular Democracy Responds to Passage of CARES Act

“Relief cannot stop here. We need more for our communities and not one more dollar for corporations.”

03.27.2020

WASHINGTON -- In response to passage of the CARES Act, the Center for Popular Democracy released the following statement:

“Today, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion package to respond to the coronavirus crisis. In the weeks before, our communities fought tooth and nail for the protections we desperately need -- health care and cash payments for all people, regardless of immigration status. A moratorium on evictions. Election protection. A dramatic reduction of the number of people detained in jails, prisons and immigrant detention facilities. Cancellation of student debt. We called our elected representatives. We told our stories. 

“But the forces that we are up against are great. President Trump, right wing Republicans and their billionaire funders used the urgency of response to COVID-19 to do what they always do: protect the wealthiest families in the nation, while working to transfer wealth and rights from the most marginalized Americans to those who have marginalized us.

“The vast inequality in the United States means that Black and Brown people, working people, immigrants and people who are immuno-compromised will bear the worst effects of COVID-19 and the economic recession it has caused. This bill is nowhere near what we need.

“The relief cannot stop here. We need more for our communities and not one more dollar for corporations.

“The priority of our government needs to be solely focused on helping people survive the pandemic and the economic suffering unleashed by this crisis. This is not the time to send people back to work, risking their lives in the process. That will only prolong the pandemic and result in more deaths. Now, Congress must now advance a package to support workers, save lives and put in place measures that will make everyone less vulnerable to health, economic and climate catastrophes. In order to do that, we need to put in place measures that meet the needs of those most vulnerable: gig economy workers, immigrants, people who are incarcerated, domestic workers, healthcare workers, and small business owners.

“In every corner of this country, families are suffering. What this crisis has shown is our society is as strong as the most vulnerable. As long as millions of people continue to live paycheck to paycheck, and millions more are without healthcare or paid sick days, we will be at the mercy of a virus and other disasters. As long as we continue to put billions of dollars in jails and detention centers, instead of hospitals and schools, we will be vulnerable. This crisis offers an opportunity to invest in people so that we not only survive, but thrive. Congress has a historic opportunity to use its power to build a better country out of this crisis. We will push them to meet that challenge.” 

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Media Contact: Lia Weintraub, lweintraub@populardemocracy.org, 202-618-2482

Friday, March 27, 2020