Policy Statements

New Congress, Old Challenges 

National Council of Jewish Women
2055 L Street, NW, Suite 650
Washington, DC 20036

Contact:  Shana Sisk, Ssisk@ncjw.org


New Congress, Old Challenges 

January 4, 2021, Washington, DC – As the new 117th Congress begins, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) highlighted the wealth of unfinished business from the last Congress that requires lawmakers’ immediate attention. NCJW Chief Policy Officer Jody Rabhan released the following statement:

“National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) welcomes the 117th Congress. With additional COVID relief urgently needed and so few bills passed by the previous Senate, NCJW is eager for the new Congress to get to work for all Americans. While the 116th Congress passed a relief bill in its waning days, it is a drop in the bucket of what this country really needs — particularly as infection rates continue to spike.

“Specifically, we urge the new Congress to start with critical health and economic measures left out of the last package: an additional $40 billion for child care and $1600 in stimulus checks; paid leave; funding for state and local governments; and access to care and services for 4 million immigrants, including 2 million children. Congress will also have to address rental assistance, eviction moratorium, unemployment benefits, nutrition assistance, and more as these programs, passed in the last package, run out. These issues must be the top priority for lawmakers in order to contend with the current health crisis; support families, workers, and those impacted by the virus; and prepare for a successful recovery.

“Additionally, throughout the 117th Congress, NCJW urges lawmakers to focus on: passing HR 1 to reform our democracy; reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to provide vital supports to survivors; passage of the EACH Woman Act and Women’s Health Protection Act to ensure access to abortion; passage of economic justice measures that allow workers to make a living wage and balance work and family responsibilities; passage of comprehensive health coverage; passage of legislation mandating universal background checks, banning assault weapons, and eliminating loopholes allowing stalkers and domestic abusers to access guns; passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as well as the NO BAN Act and NO HATE Act to address key civil rights issues; passage of immigration and asylum efforts supporting the rights, opportunities, and health of all on our shores; passing the Do No Harm Act and measures to end the distortion of religious liberty; and the confirmation of judicial nominees who are fair, impartial, and qualified and represent the diversity of our nation.

“NCJW’s mission to protect and advance the rights of women, children, and families means that we have a lot of work to do in this Congress. While there was important progress in the House on many of the above issues during the 116th Congress, the misguided and harmful priorities of the last Senate meant few Americans actually saw their lives improve. NCJW advocates across the country are committed to working with the 117th Congress to achieve real results, and urge lawmakers to get down to business immediately for the American people.”

National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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