Issues

NEWS: Senate Majority Leader McConnell Announces the Senate Will Vote on Targeted COVID-19 Relief Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the Senate will vote on a targeted COVID-19 Relief Bill as soon as this week. The bill includes:

  • A $300 per week federal unemployment benefit through the end of the year
  • Another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 
  • $105 billion for elementary, secondary and post-secondary education
  • $29 billion for the development of COVID-19 medical countermeasures and vaccines
  • $16 billion for coronavirus testing
  • $15 billion for child care
  • Liability protections from coronavirus-related lawsuits

Several weeks have now passed since many relief programs from the CARES Act expired and millions of Americans continue to struggle amidst the pandemic. This bill does not include funding for state and local government, second stimulus check, SNAP benefit increase, and much more.

Senate GOP Targeted Relief Package Summary

​COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: CDC & HHS Guidelines & Resources

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Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 Vaccines

With increased vaccine distributions nationwide following the passage of the American Rescue Plan, Poligon is here to provide resources, policy updates, as well as educational content on COVID-19.

[Breaking] Every person age 16 and up can now get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Have some general questions about receiving the vaccine? 
Read this FAQ from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Read what fully vaccinated people need to know
Read about how to talk to your family and friends about COVID-19

Read about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine when you are uninsured

Here’s where you can find out more about the J&J Vaccine:

March 26th, 2021

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You may have heard of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, a comprehensive legislation known as the “American Rescue Plan”. You may also have questions about this new legislation, and how it will impact you as we continue to navigate living under a global pandemic. 

The American Rescue Plan Explained:

Where does the funding go?
The bill intends to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the following areas:

What is NOT included in the bill?

  • The $15/hour minimum wage was cut from this legislation.
  • Earners above $80k fall outside the income cap for direct financial aid.
  • The Unemployment Insurance benefit was reduced from $400 to $300.

What are the challenges of the bill?

  • The IRS is challenged to administer billions of dollars worth of tax refunds and checks shortly before the tax filing deadline.
  • Many Americans without bank accounts or home addresses do not know they qualify for EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit), CTC (Child Tax Credit), or CDCTC (Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit), delaying their access to direct financial assistance.

Why does the implementation of the bill matter?

If you haven’t already received the $1,400 stimulus payment, you can track your payment via the “Get My Payment” tool at IRS.gov. 

Who is eligible to receive the third payment? People who:

  • Filed a 2020 tax return
  • Filed a 2019 tax return if their 2020 return has not been submitted or processed yet. 
  • Did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return, but registered for the first Economic Impact Payment using the special Non-Filers portal last year. 
  • Are federal benefit recipients as of December 31, 2020, who do not usually file a tax return and received Social Security and Railroad Retirement Board benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Veteran benefits. 

At Poligon, we advocate for the inclusion of Black, Indigenous, and all people of color in policy decision-making and implementation. We must hold our elected officials accountable for following through on their claims and legislation. While the American Rescue Plan aims for healthy social and economic recovery, we must ensure the application of the American Rescue Plan provides equitable policy measures at the state, local, and federal level for our communities to truly begin to recover from this pandemic. 

Check our COVID-19 Policy Updates Center for more information!

Tell Congress: Pass the NO BAN Act

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Throughout American history, immigration policies have been used to target Jews, Catholics, Mormons and Muslims, among others. With the NO BAN Act in Congress, we have a real chance at ending religious discrimination in immigration laws.

We join over 100 Muslim and immigrants’ rights organizations in applauding the reintroduction of the NO BAN Act, in the House of Representatives on Thursday, February 25. Poligon proudly advocated for and endorsed Rep. Judy Chu’s (D-CA-27) introduction of the bill in 2019 and again in the 117th Congress. The bill is co-sponsored by 137 House Representatives, championed in the Senate by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), and is included in President Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. Read Poligon’s full statement here.
We will never forget the countless American families ripped apart by the #MuslimBan and #AfricanBan — we must ensure this discriminatory policy never happens again. Your letter can make a difference.
Tell your Representative to co-sponsor and vote yes on the NO BAN Act today!

The NO BAN Act will:

  • Prevent any president from banning people because of their faith or national origin.
  • Impose limitations on executive authority to suspend or restrict immigrants from entering the U.S.
  • Prohibit religious discrimination in immigration laws, specifically those without statutory basis.

Here’s a sample call script to get you started:
Hello, my name is ______ and I’m a constituent of Representative _____. I’m calling to ask you to vote to pass the NO BAN Act. Banning individuals on the basis of religion and ethnicity does not represent American values and it violates our Constitution. I urge Representative _____ to vote “YES” on supporting the No Ban Act. Will the Representative do so?

Have questions? Email us at info@poligonnational.org.

THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

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Congress is moving quickly to pass the next COVID-19 relief package this week, as COVID-19 has now claimed more than 500,000 lives, and disproportionately impacted high numbers of Black and Brown lives! This is the time to act. You may have heard of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, a comprehensive legislation known as the “American Rescue Plan”. 

The American Rescue Plan will:

  • Increase access to vaccinations, COVID-19 testing, and PPE;
  • Extend Unemployment Insurance, food assistance, and stimulus checks;
  • Extend eviction and foreclosure moratoria;
  • Provide financial support for small businesses and school reopening plans;
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15/hour, and much more!

Find your Representative and urge them to support the American Rescue Plan! The livelihood of American families are at stake, and it is up to us to hold our Members of Congress accountable.

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!