WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib released the following statement regarding today’s vote on the Emergency COVID Relief legislation:
“Nearly a year ago, the way of life in most of the world changed as we knew it. Our society grinded to a halt as we grappled with the worst public health crisis in our lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought loss and suffering to communities and families at every corner. Many of our neighbors did not have the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones and we will forever have to depend only on the memories of those who we’ve lost and were cornerstones of our lives and neighborhoods.
“To effectively combat this pandemic, people across the country have made the effort to stay home, they’ve been laid off, and they’ve sacrificed as much as they could so that their government could protect them. As elected representatives, it is our responsibility to show up for our residents in time of need. We must protect public health and safeguard the economic well-being of families. That means providing robust direct payments to ensure families can pay their bills, put food on the table, and protect their families. That means providing adequate unemployment assistance, extending eviction and utility shutoff moratoriums, and providing assistance to our state and local governments, who are at the forefront of dealing with this pandemic.
“Today, I voted against the latest COVID-19 relief legislation because it is woefully inadequate in addressing the needs of people. I have watched as many of my colleagues rush to provide billions to corporations and wealthy individuals, while admonishing the needs of the majority of families. Republicans continue to do all they can do to poison our society further with corporate greed, while abandoning the very people they are supposed to be working for. This is evident by the inclusion of the ‘three martini lunch’ tax giveaway.
“It is estimated that at least eight million people have been forced into poverty because our government failed to provide dire assistance in the midst of a global pandemic. Our government failed to show up for our residents when they needed them the most, and this bill does very little to reverse that failure. The amount of help and support for our communities in this bill does not go nearly far enough, especially when our families have been waiting for over eight months for more help.
“During this pandemic, I fought hard for $1.5 billion to prevent water shutoffs and to reconnect those who are living without water. I am pleased to see $638 million in water assistance included in the bill. This would not have been possible without the fight of the water justice warriors. This is just the beginning – we need to do more, but this is an encouraging first start. Even with the inclusion of the fund, this bill still falls short in creating sustainable assistance. We will be back here in a month because the suffering will have gotten much worse because there has been a lack of bold action and priorities to put people first.
“The people are demanding we take meaningful action in providing relief and protection during this public health emergency. While a vaccine is promising and needed news, it is our duty to provide a remedy to the joblessness, poverty, and insecurity caused by this pandemic and the long-lasting inequalities in our society. It is my hope that when we begin the 117th Congress that we give recurring direct payments, strong unemployment assistance, and other needed provisions the deep consideration they deserve. Our constituents deserve better and I will continue to push for better.”