UnidosUS Policy Outlook — September 29

Every week that Congress is in session, UnidosUS is committed to bringing you important updates about what’s happening on Capitol Hill.  

As the electiondraw near, representatives are getting ready to head back to their districts to campaign. While some bipartisan progress is being made to produce another desperately needed COVID-19 relief bill, time is running out. Speaker Pelosi unveiled an updated “HEROES Act” this week to try to re-energize negotiations. The bill update, despite a funding cut of a $1 trillion from the original HEROES Act that passed the House of Representatives in May, included priorities vital to the lives and livelihoods of Latinos: COVID testing, treatment and vaccines for all, regardless of immigration status; cash payments, including for mixed-status families; emergency housing assistance and counseling for renters and homeowners; and funding for nutrition programs for those facing hunger, particularly children. 

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As these negotiations unfold, UnidosUS will continue to fight for the inclusion of our community. 

This week, there are also important hearings happening that are relevant to our community.  

For example, this Tuesday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on confronting White supremacy in police departments across the country. UnidosUS is committed to supporting the promotion of accountability in our police departments and pushing for racial equity for communities of color.  

On Wednesday, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing to examine the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses in the food industry. As we have previously stated, a survey by Color of Change and UnidosUS indicated that only 12% of Black and Latino business owners received relief funds they’d requested, and nearly half fear being forced to close by the end of the year. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a virtual hearing—also on Wednesday—on the pathway to a vaccine. With a disproportionate number of Latinos working on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic, and a disproportionate number of Latinos among the sick and dying, a vaccine is needed to prevent more illness and death in our community, as it is for all Americans. 

And finally, Health and Human Services Secretary Azar is scheduled to face the Select Subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis this Friday, when we anticipate House members will raise concerns about the health disparities Latinos and their families face under our government’s response to the pandemic. 

As we get closer to Election Day, check out what UnidosUS is doing to engage our community and make sure that our voices are heard at adelanteunidos.com.  

To stay informed, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @WeAreUnidosUS.

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