The Congressional Progressive Caucus is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to meet the coronavirus crisis with the urgency it deserves by advancing another sweeping stimulus package that—unlike the previous business-friendly legislation—guarantees economic security for all, protects public health, and ensures election safety.
"Our actions now can lay the foundation for a just and resilient recovery, but only if we recognize the scale of this unprecedented crisis and fashion a response that meets that scale," the two dozen members of the CPC Executive Board wrote in a letter (pdf) sent to Pelosi on Thursday.
With the U.S. economy rapidly deteriorating as the coronavirus continues to spread—nearly 17 million Americans filed jobless claims between March 15 and April 4—the CPC urged Pelosi to quickly assemble a relief package that provides robust assistance to workers and the unemployed until the coronavirus pandemic completely subsides.
To ensure that Americans will not have to wait for further congressional action if the economic and public health crisis deepens, the CPC called for a legislative package that contains automatic triggers so that "assistance continues based on economic conditions throughout the duration of the pandemic."
CPC's list of specific demands includes:
- Monthly direct cash payments of at least $2,000 to every adult in the U.S., and an additional $1,000 for every child for up to a year;
- A nationwide moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures;
- At least $30,000 in student debt relief;
- Suspending collection of all consumer debt, including medical debt;
- Opening Medicare to all people who are unemployed and uninsured;
- Ensuring that no one in the U.S. faces out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment;
- Increasing federal nutrition assistance benefits;
- Creating a "federal Paycheck Guarantee program" to stop mass layoffs; and
- Guaranteeing nationwide vote-by-mail to make sure elections don't contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
Read the CPC's full letter to Pelosi below: