WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed a nearly $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“With unemployment benefits set to expire in mere days, this relief package is a desperately needed lifeline for those hardest hit by this crisis. It will also fund a national vaccination program to help end the pandemic, provide state and local assistance, extend unemployment insurance and much more.
“This relief package is a victory for Americans hit hardest by this pandemic – and it should have passed swiftly, without petty partisan grandstanding. Every minute obstructionist Republican senators spent delaying the passage of this necessary relief package cost American lives.
“The pandemic has exposed longstanding inequalities that Congress must address, from the growing wealth gap to a lack of affordable health care and a living wage. We must build on this victory by continuing the fight for a $15 per hour minimum wage, passing additional pandemic relief for main street Americans, investing in global vaccine solutions, and helping workers threatened by the pandemic. Today’s victory lays the groundwork for continuing to protect Americans in this time of crisis; we applaud the Senate and look forward to this package’s final passage in the House.”