Dear <<First Name>>,
The next two to three weeks are critical for ensuring that members of Congress put people first when they negotiate the next federal COVID-19 bill. That means providing more federal aid to states, cities, and towns so they don’t have to lay off teachers and public workers and cut vital services for seniors, families with children, and people with disabilities; temporarily increasing SNAP benefits, housing assistance, and tax credits for low-income families and workers to help people pay the rent and buy food; creating emergency grants for states and tribes to help low-income households, including immigrants, facing severe hardship; and continuing expanded federal unemployment benefits.
In case you missed it, Monday’s webinar breaks down where things stand on each of our priority issues, where your efforts are needed most, and what you can do to make the biggest difference.
Check out the webinar recording and slides. (And please don’t share this info widely — sharing it with others in your organization or your coalition partners is fine.)
As our speakers covered on the webinar, congressional negotiations are expected to occur in the last two weeks of July with the goal of a new bipartisan deal enacted by August. That means now is the time to ramp up our efforts so that members of Congress are consistently hearing about a key set of important policy priorities — from constituents, from leaders in your state, and in the media — as they decide their priorities for the negotiations.
Our overall principles for the next federal COVID-19 package are:
- The next package needs to be robust and comprehensive to adequately address the unprecedented crisis we’re facing;
- It needs to target substantially more assistance to state governments and people who have been hit hardest by the pandemic and recession, including people with low incomes, immigrants, and people of color; and
- The aid it provides must last as long as needed and not end prematurely.
Each of these principles is crucial, and they go together. For example, if policymakers ignore principle #1 and try to arbitrarily cap the size of the package by saying it can’t cost more than a certain, very limited amount, then that would make it harder to provide aid that lasts as long as needed (principle #3).
We need to lean in on all three principles and specifically emphasize the need for more direct supports for people who are facing very serious struggles — especially a 15% increase in SNAP food assistance benefits, but also expanding the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits, creating an emergency fund for states to provide assistance to families with low incomes, and increasing housing assistance.
And we’ve got to keep up the drumbeat on the need for more federal aid to states and localities (through a boost in the federal Medicaid matching rate, more direct grants, and expanded state aid for education) and the need to extend the expanded federal unemployment benefits — two issues that have rightly been getting a lot of attention lately but are still not guaranteed to be in the next COVID-19 package.
We also need to be ready to respond to any Senate proposals for the next COVID-19 relief package, as Senate Majority Leader McConnell has reportedly said he’s “likely to roll out” a package in a few weeks.
Our COVID-19 federal advocacy toolkit has everything you need to help shape the next federal coronavirus legislation and respond to new developments. You’ll find talking points on different issues, examples of activities from across the country that you can replicate in your state, and materials to learn more and share with others.
Plus: We are constantly updating the toolkit with new info and resources, so make sure to check back frequently to see what’s new! The newest content is always highlighted.
Here’s a sampling of the newest additions to the toolkit…
Check out the toolkit today, and see below for a few more resources that were mentioned on Monday’s webinar.
Thanks for all you’re doing, and please let us know what else you need to support your work.
Deborah, Louisa, and the CBPP team
As a reminder, the information in these Scoop emails is meant only for you and other state-based advocates who work on these issues. Please do not share or forward these emails to press or any legislative staff.
Resources mentioned on Monday’s COVID-19 federal advocacy webinar
Check out the webinar recording and slides. (And please don’t share these links widely — sharing them with others in your organization or your coalition partners is fine.)
In addition to the COVID-19 federal advocacy toolkit and resource library, our speakers also mentioned the following information:
- New unemployment insurance bill introduced last week. On July 1, Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Wyden (D-OR) introduced the American Workforce Rescue Act, which would establish “automatic stabilizers” to ensure unemployment benefits remain available during periods of persistent unemployment. The introduction of this legislation was carefully timed by the two senators to lay the groundwork for the forthcoming July negotiations, with a focus on keeping the federal pandemic unemployment benefits in place until the job market recovers and maintaining a strong weekly benefit.
- CBPP resource page to support outreach around Economic Impact Payments. About 12 million Americans risk missing out on the stimulus payments provided through the recent CARES Act because they — unlike millions of people who are receiving the payments automatically from the IRS — must file a form by October 15 to receive it this year, or file a 2020 tax return next year to receive it in 2021. This resource page contains analysis and sample materials you can use to help ensure that all eligible people get their stimulus payments.