Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the passage of H. Con. Res. 11, the FY 2021 Budget Resolution to expedite pandemic relief for millions of Americans:
“This is a moment for urgency and action. This week, House Democrats took the first critical step towards passing an ambitious and aggressive COVID-19 relief bill that will rescue our economy, prevent mass suffering, and help families and communities weather this crisis.
“We know the enormity of the challenges we face, which is why the Progressive Caucus has consistently — from the beginning of the pandemic — called for bold and expansive legislation that meets the scale of this crisis. The budget resolution passed last night is a strong framework and we look forward to passing a robust relief bill that ends this pandemic and keeps families afloat. We cannot afford a repeat of the jobless recovery from the Great Recession which cost millions of people – disproportionately low-income families and people of color – their homes, livelihoods and savings.
“As we move forward, the Progressive Caucus has identified five priorities to strengthen the proposed pandemic relief package. First, it is essential that this package increases the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Our current minimum wage is an abhorrent, immoral poverty wage – and it’s particularly shameful that frontline workers are being asked to risk their lives in a pandemic while being denied a decent, livable wage. Second, we support expanding access to health care by automatically enrolling the unemployed, uninsured, and their dependents in public plans like Medicare and Medicaid. Third, given the enormous toll this pandemic has taken on our states, municipalities, tribes, and territories, which are on the frontlines in combating this pandemic and vaccinating the public, we also support increasing aid to those governments. Fourth, we want to ensure that our relief is inclusive of and open to all communities, regardless of immigration status. Lastly, we strongly support robust payments to families to keep them afloat for the duration of the pandemic, both in the form of survival checks as well as through the child tax credit proposal which would cut child poverty in half.
“We look forward to working with House leadership and our allies in the Senate and the White House to pass this urgently-needed relief bill, rescue our economy, and fulfill our promise to the American people.”