Senate’s COVID Stimulus Legislation is a Short-sighted Failure That Does Not Meet the Moment

Millions of working families, especially Latinos and other communities of color, still left out of relief package

WASHINGTON, DC—In response to the introduction of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s stimulus plan, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía issued the following statement:

“Even as the coronavirus pandemic rages out of control, the Senate continues to fail to provide real relief and stimulus to Latinos and other struggling families. This proposal ignores the evidence from the CDC and in our own report, that Latinos and other people of color are overrepresented among the sick and dying, the unemployed and essential workers at risk of exposure to the virus. These disparities are a result of the disturbing legacy of structural racism in our country, with which our nation has only begun to reckon. Senate Republicans are now poised to widen these racial health and economic disparities at our communities’ and nation’s peril.

“The so-called HEALS Act fails once again to include key priorities we have been calling for since before the passage of the CARES Act four months ago. It fails to provide access to COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines, regardless of ability to pay or immigration status. Nor does it provide cash payments for all taxpayers, including mixed status families and their children, so they can buy food, pay the rent and meet their basic needs. And while there is some funding for schools and housing, it falls far short of what is needed to educate vulnerable students and keep families in their homes.

“Leader McConnell must get serious about this virus and face the facts—the path to defeating COVID-19 and fueling our economic recovery winds through Black and Brown communities. UnidosUS will vigorously oppose any legislation that continues to ignore this truth, puts corporations above human lives and excludes once again millions of Latinos from health care and economic relief. I urge Senate and House leaders to get back to work on passing the HEROES Act, or a similarly inclusive bill, and provide vital relief to Hispanics and other communities disproportionately hit hard by the virus.”