As COVID-19 continues to worsen the unprecedented public health, economic, and unemployment crisis across our country and magnify the effects of systemic racism and long-standing racial and economic disparities, Congress returned to Washington this week for the final work period of the year. In addition to critical “end of year” business, including passage of a funding bill to keep the government open and running past December 11th, Congress must act on a bill that provides relief for the millions of children and families across America who are suffering because of this pandemic.
It has been eight months since Congress passed the CARES Act—the last piece of meaningful COVID relief legislation signed into law. Since then, the House of Representatives has passed two additional bills—the HEROES Act in May and an updated version in September—but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to refuse to bring either bill to the Senate floor for a vote. Meanwhile, the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable children are growing more urgent each day.
Two COVID relief proposals that have emerged on Capitol Hill this week, with traction coming from a bipartisan group of lawmakers with a $908 billion relief package. This is a critical step in the right direction, though it falls short of fully helping children and families during the pandemic.
It’s time for Congress to do its job and provide relief for children and families NOW. We already know what our kids and families need to weather this crisis: they need assistance to keep more children from going hungry, becoming homeless, and falling into poverty; to keep our child care centers and our schools safely open; to ensure access to health care; to keep children safe with their families; and to ensure we truly Leave No Child Behind®.
Email your Members of Congress today and tell them they must immediately move forward additional COVID-19 legislation. We need a bill that includes the many critical provisions for children and families that were in the bills passed by the House earlier this year, as well as additional measures to get children and families the assistance they desperately need and start to address growing racial disparities in our country.
Tell Congress they must act now—our children are counting on them.