UnidosUS Statement: Senate Leadership should be held Accountable for Failure to Agree on COVID Relief Measures

Latinos and other communities of color continue to bear one of the heaviest burdens in pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC—In response to the failure of Congress to agree on a coronavirus relief package, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía today issued the following statement:

“It has been 12 weeks since the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act. Since then, 3.5 million more Americans have fallen ill with the virus and 70,000 more have died, tens of millions continue to be jobless, several million have lost their health coverage, food pantry lines have grown, and an avalanche of evictions and foreclosures is upon us. Senate leadership and the White House has dithered as human suffering grew, introduced a cobbled-together so-called ‘HEALS Act’ that their own Republican conference didn’t even support, and now have the nerve to abandon negotiations and send Senators home before a deal that meets the dire moment can be made.

“Latinos, immigrants, and people of color will bear a disproportionate share of the burden caused by this failure in leadership. According to the CDC, Latinos represent nearly one in three COVID-19 cases in the nation even though they are just one in six of Americans. Despite their significant contributions to keeping America fed and safe through their essential work, millions of tax-paying Latinos and their families have been excluded from health coverage for COVID-19 treatment, the economic impact payments to help pay for basic necessities, and other safety net programs that prevent hunger and homelessness.

“If the Senate leadership leaves our families to get sick, suffer and die, our community will not soon forget it. I call on every American who cares about our shared future and wellbeing to demand that Mitch McConnell call the Senate back to Washington, continue bipartisan negotiations and enact a package with health and economic relief for everyone.”