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

December 22, 2020

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.”

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