Statement from Rep. Pressley on House Passage of COVID-19 Relief Package

December 21, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) issued the following statement on the House passage of compromise legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For nearly nine months now, workers and families in my district and across the country have been left to fend for themselves in the midst of an unprecedented public health and economic crisis that has robbed us of over 300,000 lives and shoved thousands of families into poverty. As a result of Republican stonewalling and negligence, our communities are experiencing record levels of food and housing insecurity, thousands have lost their jobs and our immigrant neighbors have been locked out of federal relief altogether.

“I have consistently heard from parents in my district who have exhausted their entire savings to keep the lights on and cover the costs of groceries, diapers and formula. I have heard from evicted seniors, immigrant families going hungry and essential workers deprived of PPE and access to paid leave and sick days. And I have heard from municipal leaders struggling to maintain critical jobs and services as the pandemic continues to worsen.

“I have fought every step of the way to strengthen this legislation and center those most impacted. Our fight continues. I want to recognize the grassroots organizing efforts and the partnership of my fellow progressives and Democrats in improving the legislation from where it stood only days ago. There is no doubt that these negotiations have been difficult given the callous disregard of the other side. It is because of our collective advocacy and organizing that direct cash payments are a part of this package, the Federal Reserve’s authority to address future crises has not been severely limited, and that for the first time, mixed-status immigrant families will be able to access these critical resources. As a result of the efforts of Democrats, this package will include billions in rental assistance, resources to support the safe reopening of our schools, our public transportation systems and resources to combat hunger and food insecurity. 

“While I believe the legislation announced today by Congressional leadership failed to provide the comprehensive relief necessary to meet the scale of the crisis in the communities I represent, I voted yes on the package because it will provide a much needed and long overdue stopgap to help workers and families weather the crisis as we continue fighting for additional relief.

“Since the onset of this pandemic, I have fought tirelessly for relief that would truly support our communities. Today’s vote marks a long-overdue step toward delivering relief for the people, but our work is far from over. I will continue to push for bold, comprehensive legislation that meets the moment and sets us on a path to a just and equitable recovery.

“These negotiations have underscored just how clear it is that Mitch McConnell does not care about the health and livelihoods of the American people. He has delayed comprehensive relief for months, strangled the Senate’s ability to serve the people, and must be removed from power.

“I will continue fighting for the people who sent me to Washington to do just that.”

 

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