WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the House of Representatives’ third COVID-19 response bill, H.R. 6379, the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act:
“The House bill is a big step in the right direction and a far better alternative to the Republican Senate bill that leaves too many behind. Recognizing the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the House bill secures critically needed funding to protect public health, working people and their families, marginalized communities, and our democracy.
“The choices that Congress makes now will go a long way in determining whether critical and necessary relief and aid will be available to everyone – or only for some. For America’s communities still on the margins of full and equal opportunity and a life free from discrimination, any bill must include protections for our democracy, including our elections; relief and assistance for the most marginalized communities, including people with disabilities, older people, people of color, and immigrants; humane solutions for people who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated; and support for schools and students to limit the harm this public health crisis poses to the next generation.
“Notably, the House bill provides states with necessary funding to protect the right to vote during this public health crisis. It prioritizes working people and their families over corporate greed and helps ensure students have access to an education. It rejects the Senate’s xenophobic and racist attempts to exclude some in this country who are in greatest need from critical health and safety protections. We remain concerned that the bill does not adequately protect people in prison, their families, or people working in jails and prisons. But we are hopeful that this shortfall will be addressed in the final legislation, as well as steps to combat the dangerous rise in racist and xenophobic attacks targeting Asian Americans, immigrants, and other communities.
“The House bill better addresses the structural racism and barriers to opportunity entrenched in our society. We call on the House and Senate to pass it immediately.”
The Leadership Conference’s economic security priorities for the third COVID-19 stimulus package are available here.
A letter calling for at least $2 billion in funding and a number of key policy measures to ensure an inclusive and fair voting process for 2020 primary and general elections is available here.
A letter outlining the need to protect the health and safety of incarcerated people and corrections workers is available here.