UnidosUS President and CEO: COVID Relief Bill a Good Down Payment, But More Still Needed
President Trump should sign this vital legislation at once
WASHINGTON, DC—In response to the passage of the fiscal 2021 omnibus funding and coronavirus relief package in Congress today, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía issued the following statement:
“We applaud the bipartisan work in finalizing an omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2021 that keeps the government open, delivers emergency pandemic relief, and fulfills the long-held dreams of Latino advocates to establish the National Museum of the American Latino within the Smithsonian Institution. We have been waiting more than seven months, since the ‘HEROES Act’ first passed, for more COVID relief. And we have worked for more than 25 years alongside many others to see our dream of an American Latino museum fulfilled.
“But we should note that this roughly $900 billion package is only a down payment on the inclusive relief package still needed and which we expect in the first 100 days of the 117th Congress under a Biden-Harris administration. But with the end of key programs hanging over the heads of hundreds of millions of struggling Americans, this stopgap bill is better late than never.
“In particular, we support:
- Billions for free COVID-19 vaccine distribution
- Extending and enhancing unemployment insurance by $300 a week
- Billions in rental assistance
- Extension of the eviction moratorium
- Increasing SNAP and child nutrition benefits
- Allowing low-income taxpayers to use their 2019 earned income to calculate their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) for 2020
- A second round of stimulus payments, worth up to $600 per adult and child, including for mixed-status families
“True, more relief is needed, and we are disappointed that aid to states and localities was excluded. We are also deeply concerned that this package fails to ensure health coverage or treatment for the virus regardless of income or immigration status. But applaud each member of Congress who supported this omnibus and COVID relief package. And we look forward to working with the incoming administration to ensure another round of relief that meets the needs of all Americans and puts our nation on the path to a sustained and equitable recovery.”