FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2020
Contact: Juan Ramiro Sarmiento
(785) 760-6567 | email@example.com
Long Overdue Relief Necessary but Far Too Paltry
(Washington, DC) – Today, the United States Congress reached a deal on a $1.4 Trillion omnibus spending bill which includes more than $900 Billion in pandemic emergency relief funding. The Covid relief legislative compromise stands as the single tangible action since the passage of the CARES Act in March 2020.
In response to Jesse Barba, Senior Director of External Affairs for Young Invincibles issued the following statement:
“Over the past seven months, since Congress passed the CARES Act, millions of young people have fallen through the cracks of the country’s public health and economic response to the Covid-19 global pandemic. Previous temporary relief measures have mitigated immediate pandemic fallout, but significant gaps and implementation challenges continue to delay aid to American households. Day after day, we knew the consequences of failing to pass a relief package – collapsing state budgets, small-business closures, rising unemployment, and increasing housing and food insecurity.
We have consistently called upon Congress to put politics aside and protect young adults with substantial, more comprehensive relief. Not the kind of relief that just pays lip service to these urgent needs. Yet only now, with the United States surpassing 17 million confirmed cases, over 300,000 lives lost and 8 million Americans falling into poverty since the summer, is there a sense of urgency? We say that’s unacceptable.
Today we are encouraged by the 11th-hour bipartisan deal to provide much needed relief to American families. Yet again, however, this fails to meet the urgent moment we face. It is now time to move beyond the limited scope of this relief bill, and focus on what a larger, more comprehensive package can look like in the 117th Congress under new leadership. This bill cannot be the final word on Covid relief. The pain is too great for our most vulnerable young people.
We know the next version of stimulus must include at least $1 trillion in state and local aid to prevent mass layoffs and service cuts across the country; $600 weekly enhanced unemployment insurance and auto-stabilizers to extend regular and pandemic unemployment insurance until the economy recovers; extension of federal student loan relief; additional monthly cash payments that include young adult dependents; tens of billions more for schools to reopen safely, child-care needs, and longer rental assistance.”
The omnibus spending package which includes FY 2021 appropriations bills, coronavirus relief, and authorizations contains the following select provisions:
Direct Cash Assistance: One time $600 per person (adult or child) in cash assistance, including mixed-status families. Adult dependents excluded.
Unemployment insurance: Extended enhanced unemployment insurance with a supplemental $300/wk payment through March 14, 2021;
Rental assistance: $25 billion for emergency rental assistance, which will apply to both past and future rent payments. There is also an extension of the federal eviction moratorium to January 31
Ends surprise billing: The package includes bipartisan, bicameral legislation that will end surprise billing for emergency and scheduled care.
College & University funding: Provides $22.7 billion for higher education institutions. There is $7 billion for broadband expansion and $10 billion for child care assistance. The package also includes the largest expansion of Pell Grant by reinstating Pell grants for incarcerated students and simplifying FAFSA.
Increased SNAP Access: Provides $13 billion for nutrition assistance, increases SNAP benefits by 15% for 6 months and ensures college students have access to SNAP.
Mental Health: Provides $4.25 billion for SAMHSA, including $125 million for tribes. Provides new mental health parity requirements and expands access to mental health telehealth.