It has been nearly eight months since Congress passed a COVID-19 aid package. Much of the aid from that legislation has already expired and more will stop at the end of this year. Congress must act quickly to pass a new COVD-19 relief package that addresses the needs of the poor and vulnerable. Families cannot wait any longer. Failure to act would leave millions struggling to pay rent, buy food, afford healthcare, maintain employment, and meet their basic human needs.
As we enter Advent, a season of waiting and longing for the birth of Christ, too many are left waiting for relief. Let us take action to support those most in need among us so that Christ’s vision of justice and mercy will be born again in us. Tell your Members of Congress it is time to come to an agreement and support those who are poor and vulnerable by:
- Providing resources to meet the needs of those who are homeless and those struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
- Increasing SNAP benefit amounts.
- Enacting policies that encourage and support employers to retain and rehire workers, providing sufficient unemployment compensation, and considering additional stimulus payments.
- Ensuring affordable healthcare access for everyone during this health crisis, but especially for the poor, uninsured, unemployed, and vulnerable populations including immigrants and refugees - without providing federal funding for abortion coverage.
- Safeguarding those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 in our criminal justice system and increasing medical resources to care for those who do become ill while incarcerated.
- Providing relief to all schools, including a ten percent reserve of K12 funding to provide tuition scholarships for families whose children attend nonpublic schools. Within the relief set aside for families that send their children to nonpublic schools, Congress should give special consideration to those families with greatest need.
We encourage you to add your own personal story about the pressing need for COVID-19 relief.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), signed a joint letter with Catholic leaders calling our lawmakers to action. You can read the letter here. You can learn more about the USCCB’s specific requests for policies that protect those who are poor and vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic here.