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SPLC Action Fund Statement on GOP COVID-19 Relief Package: “Callous and inhumane”

WASHINGTON — SPLC Action Fund President and CEO Margaret Huang released the statement below after the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate introduced their second COVID-19 relief package this afternoon.

Their $1 trillion proposal slashes emergency unemployment benefits by two thirds and forces states to restructure the way they distribute them, adding significant costs for implementation.

“The GOP relief bill is not only too little, too late, it’s callous and inhumane. Millions of people living in this country are looking at financial ruin in the upcoming weeks and months and the Republican leadership is looking to cut their benefits.

“Their feet-dragging, internal squabbling, and indecisiveness over the last months have already produced a gap in unemployment benefits. The income of millions will be dramatically reduced overnight, and another $1,200 will be insufficient to keep families afloat in this economic crisis. This is especially concerning among Black, Latinx and Indigenous people who have been significantly harmed by the pandemic, particularly in the South.

“What’s also troubling is that the Republican proposal doesn’t provide any money for states and cities to ensure safety protections for workers and for public education teachers and schools, even as COVID-19 cases are surging.

“The American public deserves better from its elected officials. We call on the leadership in both chambers to come together and enact legislation that will provide relief for individuals, families, small businesses and essential public services. This package falls far short of what people in the South need.”