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Congress must renew key COVID-19 provisions before adjourning

The end-of-year funding bill being crafted by Congress must do more than keep the government running—it must deal with today’s realities. The coronavirus crisis is worse than ever with the number of cases and hospitalizations reaching new heights nearly every day, More Americans died from COVID-19 in a single day than died on 9/11, and tens of thousands more will die before vaccines are widely available—most of us won’t have access to them until spring, at the earliest.

Despite the desperate need, the 116th Congress could fail to reach agreement on a comprehensive COVID-19 package before it adjourns for good. If so, the end-of-year funding bill must—at a minimum—renew key provisions of previously enacted COVID-19 legislation that expire at year’s end.

For educators, a key issue is access to paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave—not just for themselves, but to protect others and prevent people who can’t afford to go without a paycheck from spreading COVID-19. For student loan borrowers, it is the suspension of payments and interest accrual. Other looming issues include the end of a nationwide moratorium on evictions and enhanced unemployment benefits. Economic help for the growing number of Americans facing hunger and homelessness is also essential.

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Despite the desperate need, the 116th Congress could fail to reach agreement on a comprehensive COVID-19 package before it adjourns for good. If so, the end-of-year funding bill must—at a minimum—renew key provisions of previously enacted COVID-19 legislation that expire at the end of 2020.

5 responses to “Congress must renew key COVID-19 provisions before adjourning

  1. Our Government has abandoned help for Covid relief by its inaction. It is time that they advance people over party. The Federal response to the virus was botched from the very beginning. We should not be in the situation that few are in now with so many sick, hospitalized and dead. This was all due to Trump and his followers. Time to man up and do something that will really help the people.

  2. I suggest that before any new aid is voted on, the funds from previous aid packages be sent to those who it was intended for. Before the Presidential Election, Pelosi wasn’t on board for any new Covid-19 relief bill. It didn’t even matter that Republicans were willing to go above the $2 Trillion mark. Pelosi now is on board for a bail out of less than $1 Trillion package because it appears there may be a new President. Again, no new package until the prior money has been given out to those most affected by the shut downs.

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