Progressive Caucus Leaders Call for Urgent Action from Democratic House Leadership on Remote Voting and Bold CARES-2 Legislation
April 29, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urging quick action to enact a remote voting system and pass a bold and inclusive CARES-2 package to protect the physical health and financial security of families across the country.
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer,
As Congress considers the next steps for a just and resilient recovery, we write to you on two important issues.
First, we ask that Congress work urgently to pass—within the next two weeks—a comprehensive and inclusive CARES-2 bill that meets the scale of the crisis. Since the last letter we wrote you on April 9th, the Covid19 crisis has worsened dramatically, and has taken a disproportionate toll on vulnerable communities:
• As of today, at least 55,000 of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones have died from this pandemic – approaching the death toll of American servicemembers in the Vietnam War.
• African Americans comprise nearly one-third of all US Covid19 deaths, despite making up only 13 percent of the US population, a staggering total rooted in a long history of structural inequalities and environmental racism.
• More than 24 million Americans – one in seven workers – have filed for unemployment in just the last five weeks, with job loss disproportionately concentrated among low-income workers and women.
• It’s estimated that only 29 percent of jobless Americans received unemployment benefits in March, leaving millions without income or a safety net.
CARES 2 must provide immediate and substantial relief on four key priority areas that will put families first and leave no-one out. Those priorities are:
1. Keeping people on payrolls: Stop mass layoffs and ensure federal dollars go to workers and small businesses, not enriching CEOs and Wall Street.
2. Providing financial relief: Expand aid for the most vulnerable in the COVID-19 epidemic, including direct cash assistance, increased food aid, debt relief, and eviction protections.
3. Protecting public health: Provide full health coverage for all COVID-19 care, ensure protections and hazard pay for essential workers, and secure critically-needed state and local funding.
4. Safeguarding our elections: Enact a vote-by-mail requirement for 2020 federal elections while maintaining access to in-person voting for those who do not have access to mail voting
Second, we urge you to work with us to find a way for Congress to safely vote on both the proxy voting proposal and a CARES-2 package as soon as possible. We appreciate the decision to delay next week’s return given the ongoing pandemic, but we must find a way for members of Congress to vote on issues of critical national importance while protecting public health. Time is of the essence.
Below, we have reattached the CPC letter from April 9th for your consideration. We look forward to working with you to ensure Congress takes a comprehensive and inclusive approach to the next coronavirus package.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
Congressional Progressive Caucus