FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12 May 2020
Contact: Derrick Crowe, 512.516.5067 cell, [email protected]
WASHINGTON, D.C.–People’s Action Director George Goehl released the following statement in response to reports of the contents of the HEROES economic relief legislation.
“We need our elected officials to do their job and keep every single person in this country healthy and safe. Republicans are using racism and fake deficit concerns to divide us so they can loot the country on behalf of their rich friends. Despite some clear missed opportunities, the HEROES legislative package will mitigate suffering for millions of people trapped by Trump’s incompetence and McConnell’s disinterest in helping anyone besides corporations and the rich.
“This bill includes one of the largest federal rental assistance measures in American history. It eliminates cost-sharing to encourage people to use their health coverage for COVID treatments. It provides cash assistance to people who desperately need it. And, the bill aims to expand these benefits to a large number of immigrants, an improvement on prior legislation.
“Unfortunately, there are some critical missed opportunities here.
“While Democrats are proposing $175 billion in new support for renters and homeowners, the real solution would have been to cancel rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the crisis so we do not leave people buried in debt.
“While including funds to keep people from losing their insurance due to job losses shows concern for people’s health needs during a pandemic, the best solution would be to enroll the uninsured into Medicare so that we support people with a public program instead of handing more money to private insurance companies who put profit over people’s actual health.
“And, while we applaud a second, bigger round of direct cash payments, we must provide monthly direct cash payments lasting until the economy recovers so that people can stay home, help us ‘flatten the curve,’ and avoid risking their lives to put food on the table.
“While we believe that there’s more that could have been included in this package, it’s a hell of a lot more than what Republicans would have fought for. Between Trump’s corrupt, incompetent management of the crisis to Mitch McConnell’s toxic let-them-go-bankrupt mentality, Republicans have exponentially increased death, suffering, and anxiety in every community in the country. They can expect to be held accountable by People’s Action members as we approach November.”
About People’s Action
People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. Our organization recently released a vision for a national Homes Guarantee that has already prompted major legislation from champions including U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. We recently completed a national forum series that included Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and Andrew Yang. The Nation called our Iowa forum the “most in-depth, people-powered forum” of the 2020 cycle.