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Congressional Progressive Caucus Statement on Passage of CARES Act

Washington, D.C. — The Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02), released the following statement on the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress:

“The urgency of this pandemic cannot be overstated. The United States now leads the world in documented COVID-19 cases and communities across our nation are faced with limited resources and impossible choices.

“This bill was far from perfect, but the American public needs help — and they need that help now. To address our public health emergency, the bill provides desperately needed funds to states and municipalities facing this crisis and makes investments in PPE and medical devices which will save lives. To stabilize our economy, this legislation dramatically expands unemployment insurance for millions of Americans and provides critical aid to small businesses and nonprofits to weather this crisis.

“We have wide-ranging and serious frustrations with provisions that Republicans insisted on inserting into the bill, including the watered-down conditions on industry aid, the inadequate protections for frontline workers, incarcerated and detained individuals, and other vulnerable populations, and the exclusion of immigrants from these urgent public health and economic relief initiatives. And while we were glad to see cash assistance included in the bill, a one-time check is nowhere near sufficient for families facing an unprecedented economic downturn and months of mounting debt.

“We can’t let this bill be the end of this conversation. Working families need more than a one-time check to keep them afloat. Frontline health workers need stronger protections, to keep themselves and our entire community healthy. Immigrants need protections so they can afford to stay safe and healthy too. And we must ensure aggressive and constant scrutiny of the appropriated industry aid to ensure it does not become a corporate slush fund. We will keep fighting for these priorities in the coming weeks and months, as our nation confronts this unprecedented public health emergency.”

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