Call Your Representatives: New COVID-19 Legislation Will Be Introduced Soon

MPAC Recommendations for Third COVID-19 Response Legislation

April 1, 2020

While Congress has already passed some emergency responses, they are expected to push through a fourth piece of legislation responding to health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are advocating for more comprehensive coverage in the upcoming session. After the second piece of emergency response legislation passed through the Senate, we noted its “significant weaknesses,” chief among them the failure to set occupational health and safety standards for healthcare workers and to provide guaranteed paid sick leave for the majority of private sector workers. The third piece of legislation did not resolve those weaknesses, but the fourth piece of legislation offers the chance to do just that. However, there are no guarantees. Please join us in demanding Congress to pass stronger legislation.

We must all work to ensure that our representatives provide for the needs of their constituents. The COVID-19 has not only exposed the inadequacies of our healthcare system and bureaucratic structure, but has also made abundantly clear that policy responses to the novel coronavirus cannot merely stabilize the U.S. economy and political system. Moving forward, we must also transform it in order to stave off a more damaging crisis than the one we are currently enduring.

We are providing for you our list of policy provisions which, upon consultation with our civil society partners, we recommend to be included in any emergency response legislation. We are asking you to call your representatives and ask them to support legislation which includes these specific policy recommendations. We believe that these policy recommendations can accomplish just that, while also providing immediate relief to those individuals and families in need. 

1. Significantly increasing access to medical care and benefits by:

  • Making lasting improvements to the unemployment insurance system to give more support to those laid off as a result of the economic consequences of COVID-19 and future pandemics.
  • Boosting food assistance through Student Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) and other benefits programs.
  • Increasing the federal government share of Medicaid funding for states.
  • Broadening access to emergency Medicaid for as long as COVID-19 is regarded a public health emergency.
  • Increasing the production and guaranteeing the availability of testing kits nationwide
  • Providing more medical resources and personal protective equipment for hospitals and healthcare workers

2. Immediate relief to individuals and families, this includes:

  • Making direct cash payments or transfers to individuals and families in order to cover care costs and stimulate the economy.
  • Providing at least 30 days of paid sick leave and family and medical leave for all workers, which would represent a needed improvement to the two weeks of partially-paid sick leave currently legislated through the Families First Act.
  • NO bailouts or stimulus for large-scale industry if they do not come with regulations on corporate practices and assurances that workers will also benefit, not just CEOs and shareholders.
  • Issuing a moratorium on consumer and small business credit payments, such as mortgages, rent payments, car notes, student loans, credit cards, small business loans, personal loans.
  • Providing sustaining loans to non-profits and small businesses, which serve as a lifeblood to local communities
  • Permanently lifting the means test to public benefits, so that access to benefits are not tied to working hours, which many people cannot find during this pandemic.

3. Ensuring that citizenship is not a barrier to access to care by:

  • Putting an end to immigration detention and parole of asylum seekers into the United States, and prioritizing release of those currently being held on charges of unauthorized entry or re-entry.
  • Ensuring free access to medical tests and healthcare for those fleeing dangerous conditions, which do not just stop when the global economy stops; if anything, they get worse.
  • Ensuring that there is no additional funding for the administration’s border wall.
  • Passing a resolution or regulation prohibiting immigration judges and officials from using ANY hardships, costs, and charges related to COVID-19 in an assessment of an immigrant’s public charge status.

4. Providing necessary assistance for those experiencing homelessness by:

  • Temporarily suspending all evictions, foreclosures, and repossessions, as well as rental and utility payments or shut-offs.
  • Providing immediate emergency homelessness assistance, including housing and health-related services.
  • Providing dumpsters, showers, hand washing stations, bathrooms, and other services at every informal settlement or homeless encampment.

With just a click of a button you can let your Members of Congress know that we need more comprehensive legislation during these difficult times. We’ve already set everything up for you, you just need to enter your information.

As you take action, we are also working alongside our partners to amplify these recommendations as well. We've already started the work of pushing this legislation along with countless other partner advocacy organizations. Here is a list of the coalitions we are working with:



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