Action : Call your senators and tell them “YES” on H.R.6201 (the Families First Coronavirus Response Act with two improvements.
One thing that is sure about this administration: Corruption follows incompetence.
House passed HR 6201 on Friday to get basic health and income protections into the hands of America workers. Since Pelosi created alongside Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin, we’ve heard that Trump is even willing to sign it. What’s missing is the Senate, but Mitch McConnell sent senators home for the weekend so that he could attend an event in Kentucky with Brett Kavanaugh and see which way the wind was blowing. This bill includes some baseline protections for people’s health and financial security during an outbreak and it needs some tweaks to be more comprehensive, but every day McConnell delays is a day that people don’t have the support they need.
- Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured;
- Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers;
- Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors nutrition and food banks;
- Clear protections for frontline workers, including health care workers and other workers who are in contact with those who have been exposed or are responsible for cleaning at-risk places;
- Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs.
- IMPROVEMENT #1: Make paid emergency leave with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave apply to ALL US workers. (This is being fought by the US Chamber of Commerce. If you belong to a local branch, have a chat.) Currently, THIS BILL DOES NOT COVER EVERYONE! Who’s left out?
- Small companies (under 50) = 26% all US workers. 30.5 million people work for small companies (under 50) with no family leave plan. Their companies can apply for hardship waivers from the rules.
- Companies (over 500) = 54% all US workers. 89% of people who work for large companies (over 500) may get only 8 days, instead of the recommended 14. 6.7 million workers may have to work while sick. Some big employers, like McDonald’s and Amazon are not required to provide any paid sick leave.
- Part-timers: This bill does not mandate paid sick leave for workers at big companies, so part-time workers at large companies might get zero.
IMPROVEMENT #2: HR 6201 DOES NOT include access to WATER!: Senators should add a moratorium on water shutoffs amid this pandemic. In 2018, Food and Water Watch research found that an estimated 15 million people in the United States experienced a water shutoff in one year due to nonpayment of water bills. Shutoffs occur primarily in communities of color with higher poverty levels and low-income communities. Households that were shut off are now struggling to prevent the rampant spread of the coronavirus, as well as prevent their own families from becoming sick, because they don’t have running water to wash their hands. Some states have started this. Not enough. This is basic common sense.
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and not only do I want Senator [___] to vote “YES” for HR 6201, but I want the two week of paid sick leave to apply to ALL WORKERS in the US. I also want the senators to require that ALL WATER SHUTOFFS STOP AND that running water is immediately reconnected to homes that were shut off for the duration of this crisis. If washing one’s hands is a critical factor to public safety, this basic utility needs to be accessible to all.
More script if you want it: I also:
- …am against President’s Trump’s scam to cut Social Security in the form of a “payroll tax cut”. Not only is it an unacceptable backdoor attack on our nation’s safety net, it’s ineffective.
- …am against any bail-out money going to oil and natural gas producers. Not only do many of them pay zero taxes, but they also receive billions of dollars of subsidies from the government annually. Even the oil companies know these optics stink.
- …am against any bail-outs to huge industries, including airlines, hotels, cruise lines and watching our own president double-dipping into our tax money cookie jar. People first.
- …am against our government treating this epidemic as a classified secret. Restricting information has delayed the response to the crisis, sidelined experts and provided misleading or incomplete information to the public and public officials. (Here’s a good source)
- …want the location of travel bans to be determined by actual experts, not by where our president owns resorts.
- …want publicly available plans by all the big prison companies and ICE facilities describing how they are going to ensure the health of both the incarcerated, including children, and staff.
- …want guarantees that new rules designed to discourage certain immigrants from using taxpayer-funded services won’t apply to those seeking tests or other treatments for the coronavirus.
- …want testing to be available to Americans as they are to, say, South Koreans, who have tested over 100,000 people and are testing more at over 10,000 people a day. We’ve reached 20,685 total, which is absurd for a country with supposedly the greatest medical system on earth. Seriously!
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?:https://whoismyrepresentative.com
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