March 2020

Poligon Joins the National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19

Poligon joined the National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19, a coalition with over 34 American Muslim organizations, which aims to make recommendations to support self-quarantine and following public health guidance released by local, state, and federal government authorities. Task Force is comprised of Muslim health professionals, fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), charity, civil rights, and advocacy organizations. Click here for more information.

March 2020 Newsletter

Salaam, and welcome to our March 2020 newsletter! Here’s what we were up to this month:

Advocacy on the Hill
Poligon and nine other advocacy organizations delivered more than 150,000 signatures to the office of Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-27) calling for the House to pass the NO BAN Act. The House postponed the vote on the bill, which was set to take place on March 12th, due to addressing an emergency response to the coronavirus epidemic. Click here to sign the petition to send Congress a message to end the Muslim Ban by passing the NO BAN Act.

Religious-Based Bullying and Discrimination Briefing
Poligon attended a briefing held by The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding about religious-bullying and religious discrimination with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) and other advocacy groups. The briefing highlighted key research findings on these topics from some of the most highly impacted communities: Muslim Americans and Sikh Americans. Watch the full briefing here

Poligon’s COVID-19 Policy Update Center
To help keep track of all the legislation Congress is introducing and passing on the Coronavirus, Poligon launched our COVID-19 Policy Update Center last week. There, our community members and allies can view information and actions you can take to understand and help shape policy on the pandemic. 

Poligon is also working diligently with our interfaith partners to call on Congress to pass policies that will protect all vulnerable communities in the U.S. that are impacted by COVID-19. If you are able, please help Poligon continue to advocate for policies that aid vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19 by making a zakat eligible and tax-deductible donation today. You can also let your friends and family stay informed by forwarding this email and encouraging them to sign up for our mailing list and following us on social media.

Poligon Joined the National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19 
Poligon joined the National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19, a coalition with over 34 American Muslim organizations, which aims to make recommendations to support self-quarantine and following public health guidance released by local, state, and federal government authorities. Task Force is comprised of Muslim health professionals, fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), charity, civil rights, and advocacy organizations. Click here for more information.

COVID-19 Legislation Facebook Live
Our Legislative Fellow, Zayn Hasan, went on Facebook live and explained what was going on with the Coronavirus Relief legislation in Congress and what actions we can take during this time. Click here to watch the video.

Women’s History Month
Poligon participated in Women’s History Month by creating a campaign highlighting Muslim women who have been making a difference. Check out our campaign on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

Action Alerts
The House of Representatives adjourned Friday, March 13th until Sunday, March 22nd. Poligon sent an action alert for recess when Members were in their home districts.

Hill Happenings
We’ve been keeping you up-to-date on the latest from Capitol Hill with our Hill Happenings going straight to your inboxes every Friday.

  • March 6, 2020: Bill Introduced to Block Expanded Muslim Ban, Congress Passed Bill For Funding for Coronavirus, Bill Introduced to Strengthen Public Education System, Bill Introduced to Strengthen Public Education System, Senators Responded to Rural School Funding Cuts
  • March 13, 2020: House Postponed Vote on NO BAN Act, House Speaker Appointed a Director to House Diversity Office, Lawmakers Called for Senate Action on the For the People Act, Senate Voted on Reversing Student Loan Rule, Bill Unveiled to Ensure Emergency Paid Sick Days
  • March 20, 2020: President Trump Signed Coronavirus Relief Bill Into Law, Senate to Vote on Third Coronavirus Package, Treasury Secretary Sent Coronavirus Proposals to Congress, Congress Members Raised Concerns About Census 2020
  • March 27, 2020: Senate Voted to Pass Third Coronavirus Emergency Bill, House Democrats Introduced the 3rd Coronavirus Response Bill, Senate Amendment Introduced to Weaken Unemployment Benefits, Congresswoman Called on President to Stop Coronavirus Racism, Senators Introduced Bill to Increase Healthcare Capacity

In the News
Poligon’s Legislative Fellow, Zayn Hasan, and nine other advocacy groups, including Daily Kos, delivered more than 150,000 signatures to Rep. Judy Chu calling for the House to pass the NO BAN Act. Read the full article here.

Thank you for your support as we continue to help amplify the American Muslim voices in Congress. 
Stay active,
ThePoligon team

President Trump Signs $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package Into Law

President Trump has signed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package into law, after the House voted to approve the  bill, also known as Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act is the third aid package from Congress this month to address the coronavirus pandemic. This relief package includes direct payments to many Americans, an  expansion of unemployment insurance program, offers relief to business through loans,  and aid to hospitals.

The House will join the Senate in an extended recess due to the pandemic. Speaker Pelosi told reporters that House Democrats are in the early stages of drafting a fourth coronavirus relief package that will include substantial investments in infrastructure. The next bill is expected to include policies that will:

  • Expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Increase funding for employer-provided pension
  • Expand paid leave for workers 
  • Boost the availability of protective medical equipment
  • Strengthen worker protections under the the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The bill is expected to be introduced in the next few weeks. 

House Passes $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package

The House votedto approve the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will provide a $2 trillion relief package to help Americans during the ongoing public health crisis. The package offers significant relief for workers, small businesses, and corporations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The final package includes:

  • $1,200 checks to many Americans and $500 for children
  • $15.8 billion in additional funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • ​$8.8 billion in funding for Children Nutrition Programs
  • $150 billion for health care system 
  • $150 billion to state, tribal, and local government
  • $350 billion in a form of loans to aid small businesses impacted by the pandemic
  • Additional $600 per week for maximum unemployment insurance benefit 

It now heads to President Donald Trump, where he’s expected to sign it into law.

Resource: Provisions Related to Unemployment Compensation in the Senate-passed CARES Act

House Ways and Means Committee released a resource on information relating to unemployment compensation provisions and answers to frequently asked questions are available. 

FAQ CARES Act

Senate Voted to Pass $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package

The Senate unanimously voted to approve the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which aims to provide a $2 trillion relief package to help alleviate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The bill was voted on late Wednesday night, the delay was caused by disagreements to the bill’s unemployment assistance provisions which would allow unemployed Americans to get paid during the pandemic. The Senate voted to keep the unemployment insurance provision for laid-off workers that will allow for four months of full pay.

The final package includes:

  • $1,200 checks to many Americans and $500 for children
  • $15.8 billion in additional funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • ​$8.8. billion in funding for Children Nutrition Programs
  • $150 billion for health care system 
  • $150 billion to state, tribal, and local government
  • $350 billion in a form of loans to aid small businesses impacted by the pandemic
  • Additional $600 per week for maximum unemployment insurance benefit 

The House is set to vote on these measures this Friday. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the Senate will leave for recess and will return April 20th.

Letter: Urging the Department of Labor to Ensure as Many Working People are Covered by Law

Poligon and 158 organizations sent a letter in response to the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law No: 116-127, and urged the Department of Labor to consider the following recommendations as they implement the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) provisions of the
law. 

The Department should make every effort to ensure that as many working people as possible are covered by the law. Unnecessarily excluding additional working people would endanger the health of these individuals, their families, and their communities. Low-wage workers, who are often in public-facing jobs, are least likely to have access to paid sick days or paid family and medical leave, yet may be unable to afford time off without it, making it difficult to comply with government orders and public health recommendations.

Letter to Congress to Focus on People with Disabilities in COVID19 Bill

Senate and White House Reach A Deal on Third Stimulus Package for COVID-19

The White House and Senate have reached a $2 trillion spending package deal  aimed at helping individuals, businesses and the health care system amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced the negotiation deal on the Senate floor around 1:30 AM, after meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other White House  administration officials.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,  S.3548, includes funding to increase duration of unemployment insurance, to provide immediate relief for small businesses, and to provide emergency education funding. 

The bill also includes funding for the following:

  • $1,200 checks to many Americans for immediate relief and an additional $500 payment is available per child
  • $260 billion in funding for Unemployment Insurance program
  • $150 billion in the nations health system
  • $367 billion in loan programs to help aid small businesses
  • $150 billion to states, tribes, and local governments to respond to new expenses related to COVID-19
  • $330 billion to emergency appropriations which include funding for medical supplies to State and local health agencies, hospitals, and other healthcare entities facing shortages

The bill does not include expanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, expanding paid sick leave for all workers, and assurance that everyone is able to receive access to care, regardless of immigration status. The Senate is set to vote on the bill later today.

Coronavirus Legislation Explainer

Progress Caucus Action Fund released an in-depth analysis of the Senate Republican proposal released on March 22, 2020 and the House Democrats Proposal of H.R. 6379, the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, as introduced on March 23, 2020. This comparison focuses on select issues areas. 

PCAF Analysis of Current Coronavirus Proposals

Letter: Urging Congress to Reject COVID-19 Nonprofit Exclusions

Poligon sent a letter to urging Congress to oppose the provisions in S. 3548, the CARES Act, introduced by Senator McConnell, that deny critical sustaining loans to non-profits. The provisions in S. 3548 exclude non-profits that provide Medicaid-reimbursed services and establishes caps that would exclude many nonprofits. Community-based nonprofits provide essential services to people in their communities, particularly those most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Letter Opposing the Nonprofit Medicaid Exemption and Caps.