Dear Members of Congress,
Through the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (S 3548), Congress has undoubtedly taken significant steps to address the devastating impact of the ongoing global pandemic. However, we know that there is still much more work to be done to respond to the immediate health emergency; to support families, workers, and those most vulnerable; and to prepare for a successful recovery. As you consider the next phase of response legislation, I urge you to incorporate critical priorities surrounding reproductive health, rights, and justice; health care; economic justice; voter engagement; domestic violence; and many other critical issues.
Specifically, I am asking you to incorporate the following critical priorities:
- Designate abortion clinics and other reproductive health care providers as essential and medically necessary.
- Provide funding for independent clinics and abortion providers.
- Expand early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail to all states.
- Provide funds to or reimburse states for additional costs in administering elections during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Expand the emergency paid sick days and paid family and medical leave programs to employers with over 500 employees.
- Expand the emergency paid family and medical leave program to cover caring for one’s own or a family member’s health care needs related to the coronavirus and to those who regularly care for individuals who are not minor children (such as disabled adults, elderly relatives, etc.).
- Suspend all Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and deportations.
- Expand unemployment insurance, Medicaid, direct cash assistance, and other public programs to include undocumented residents.
- Invest in supports for survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence who are experiencing increased danger during this period of stay-at-home orders.
- Increase SNAP benefits temporarily by 15 percent, increase the minimum SNAP benefit to $30 per month, place a hold on harmful rules proposed by the Executive Branch that weaken SNAP eligibility and benefits, and provide administrative funding to states to help with the increased need for help.
- Ensure funding for robust enforcement of civil rights protections including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
These policy recommendations would provide essential support that families across the country so urgently need to survive this public health and economic emergency.