December 2020

Congress Passes $900 COVID Relief Bill, But Poligon’s Work Continues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2020
​Contact: media@poligonnational.org

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund released the following statement on the congressional passage of COVID-19 relief legislation: 

Poligon Education Fund reaffirms its commitment to amplifying the most vulnerable populations and minority groups in the halls of power. After months of tireless advocacy efforts and a long stalemate in Congress, Poligon supports the release of immediate relief, but recognizes the shortcomings of the bipartisan $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill. 

Poligon applauds the following provisions in the package:

  • Additional $300 per week through unemployment insurance and a federal unemployment insurance 
  • $284 billion in loans for businesses 
  • $69 billion in testing and vaccine distribution funds  
  • $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools.
  • $25 billion in rental assistance and a one-month extension of the eviction moratorium
  • $20 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
  • $13 billion in food assistance
    • Increases SNAP benefits by 15% for 6 months
    • Ensures college students have access to SNAP
    • Additional funding for food banks and senior nutrition programs
    • Emergency funds for school and day care feeding programs

We recognize that the current relief package falls far from providing adequate and just recovery to vulnerable communities. Almost a year later, marginalized populations including black, indigeneous, people of color, and immigrant communities who have been systematically struggling prior to the coronavirus pandemic continue to be the most impacted. The relief package also dismisses adult dependents, some of whom suffer from disabilities. It repairs the cruel exclusion of 3.5 million citizens who reside with families of “mixed immigration statuses,” but once again fails to include millions of undocumented individuals in the economic relief, many of whom serve as frontline workers. 

Poligon’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Johanna Mustafa, issued the following statement:
“We are a nation of abundance and wealth where struggling families deserve urgent and lasting change. As we move forward with a new Congress in 2021, Poligon will continue to work towards the inclusion of vulnerable communities. While we support the economic relief this package will provide, we recognize that the American people need more help than this bill provides. Poligon urges Congress to pass another round of direct stimulus checks to help families who have been struggling for months. Our tax dollars must be invested in our communities and center the domestic human needs and rights of our people.”

READ: Poligon’s Statement on the Passage of the COVID-19 Relief Package

Congress Passes $900 COVID Relief Bill, But Poligon’s Work Continues

Poligon’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Johanna Mustafa, issued the following statement:
“We are a nation of abundance and wealth where struggling families deserve urgent and lasting change. As we move forward with a new Congress in 2021, Poligon will continue to work towards the inclusion of vulnerable communities. While we support the economic relief this package will provide, we recognize that the American people need more help than this bill provides. Poligon urges Congress to pass another round of direct stimulus checks to help families who have been struggling for months. Our tax dollars must be invested in our communities and center the domestic human needs and rights of our people.”

Read full statement here.

BREAKING: Congress Passes $900 Billion COVID-19 Relief Package

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Congress passed a $2.3 trillion package, which included $1.4 trillion to fund the government and $900 billion in coronavirus relief. The bill now goes to President Trump’s desk, where he has until December 28th to sign it. 

The relief package includes:

  • $600 per person stimulus checks – for individuals earning $75,000 and less per year and $600 for their children.
  • Additional $300 per week​ through unemployment insurance and a federal unemployment insurance 
  • $284 billion in loans for businesses 
  • $69 billion in testing and vaccine distribution funds  
  • $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools.
  • $25 billion in rental assistance and a one-month extension of the eviction moratorium
  • $20 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
  • $13 billion in food assistance 
    • ​Increases SNAP benefits by 15% for 6 months
    • Ensures college students have access to SNAP
    • Additional funding for food banks and senior nutrition programs
    • Emergency funds for school and day care feeding programs
  • $10 billion for Postal Service

The bill did not include the controversial corporate immunity provision. The package also lift out immigrants from receiving aid and state and local government funding. 

Congress is set to go on recess until the new year but is already turning its attention to a potential sixth package. 

BREAKING: Congress Reaches Deal on $900 billion COVID-19 Relief Package

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After months of stalemate, Congress has reached a deal on a $900 billion in COVID-19 relief package, as multiple federal aid programs are set to expire at the end of the year.

The agreement includes:

  • $600 per person stimulus checks – for individuals earning $75,000 per year and $600 for their children.
  • Additional $300 per week​ through unemployment insurance and a federal unemployment insurance 
  • $284 billion in loans for businesses 
  • $69 billion in testing and vaccine distribution funds  
  • $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools.
  • $25 billion in rental assistance and a one-month extension of the eviction moratorium
  • $20 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
  • $13 billion in food assistance is also in the bill
    • ​Increases SNAP benefits by 15% for 6 months
    • Ensures college students have access to SNAP
    • Additional funding for food banks and senior nutrition programs
    • Emergency funds for school and day care feeding programs

The package excludes the GOP priority of liability protection from Covid-19-related lawsuits for businesses. It also doesn’t include additional aid to State and Local governments. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the package beginning Monday.

ACTION ALERT: Time is running out! Demand an emergency COVID aid package!

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​The United States has surpassed over 282,000 deaths due to COVID-19! Congress has failed to act in the face of tremendous economic battles impacting the most vulnerable communities.  Join us in calling on our elected officials to immediately pass a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package and ensure that families are protected in such difficult times. 

Join us in calling on our elected officials to immediately pass a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package and ensure that families are protected in such difficult times. A bipartisan $908 billion framework has been introduced without any legislative text. Vulnerable communities deserve a stronger sense of urgency. We urge the Senate to pass a COVID-19 relief bill that protects: 

  • The unemployed and low income individuals:​ Enact quarterly targeted stimulus checks, accessible to low income individuals, including immigrants, through the duration of the pandemic. While also extending unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Immigrants: Provide free access to COVID-19 testing and treatment to uninsured people, regardless of their immigration status. Extend stimulus benefits to immigrant taxpayers from previous relief bills.  Extend work permits and protections from deportation for immigrants.
  • Access to nutrition: Increase SNAP’s maximum benefit by %15, with an average $25/person per month, and expand the minimum SNAP benefit from $15/month to $30/month.
  • Access to healthcare: Fund health services for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccine development and distribution.
  • Housing: Enact emergency rental assistance and prevent evictions, utility shutoffs, and homelessness. 

Write to your senator and demand they provide immediate relief to people impacted by COVID-19 today!

Letter: Urging Congress to pass the COVID Community Care Act

Poligon joined over 50+ organizations in sending a letter in support of the COVID Community Care Act (H.R. 8192/S.4941) and urge swift passage and implementation of this essential piece of legislation. This bill recognizes the essential role local non-profits, faith-based and community-based organizations have played in addressing Covid-19 through culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach for testing, contact tracing and the provision of resources such as access to food, medicine, and personal protective equipment, as well as the resource coordination necessary to address job and housing insecurity.

COVID Community Care Act

BREAKING: Bipartisan lawmakers introduce $908 billion COVID-19 relief framework

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The Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of bipartisan lawmakers, unveiled a $908 billion COVID-19 relief framework aimed to break stalemate between Democrats and Republicans over emergency assistance amidst the pandemic. 

The framework includes:

  • $160 billion for State, Local, and Tribal Governments
  • $180 billion for additional Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • $288 billion for small businesses including Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • $45 billion for Transportation (Airlines, Airports, Buses, Transit, and Amtrak)
  • $16 billion for Vaccine Development and Distribution 
  • $35 billion for Healthcare Provider Relief Fund
  • $82 billion for Education
  • $25 billion for Housing Assistance
  • $26 billion for Nutrition (including SNAP)
  • $10 billion for U.S. Postal Service

The unemployment benefits would reduce to $300 a week for 18 week, compared to the $600 per week included under the CARES Act. The funds would run through the first quarter of 2021. Congress is running out of time to pass a fifth relief bill with lawmakers scheduled to leave for the year as soon as next week and multiple federal assistance programs set to expire at the end of the month.