WASHINGTON — SPLC Action Fund President and CEO Margaret Huang released the statement below following a Senate vote on a new GOP COVID-19 relief package, which received 52 votes and failed to move forward. The Republican bill was substantially smaller and narrower in aid than the HEROES Act, the second coronavirus relief bill introduced by the Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives four months ago.
“The GOP bill was a callous response to the millions of Americans who are reeling from this devastating pandemic. This disaster could have been mitigated but the Senate GOP, instead of showing much-needed leadership, refuses to face our grim reality with compassion or support to those in most need.
“Southern states have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. People across the region are facing ongoing job loss, food insecurity, and the threat of losing their homes, particularly Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities — who are also seeing a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases among them.
“Moreover, millions of parents in the region are forced to cope with administering virtual learning while our public schools are struggling to meet technology needs, secure adequate PPE, and continue providing meals and social and emotional support to students in spite of state and local budget constraints. People, particularly the elderly and those in rural communities, are facing unprecedented delays to get needed supplies, including life-saving medicine, through the mail.
“The general election is less than two months away and millions of Americans will be asked to risk their health in order to cast their vote. This is wholly unacceptable. Now more than ever and for the sake of millions of Americans, we need our political leaders to deliver something that will offer a respite from this unprecedented danger. Our representatives in Washington need to address all of these challenges immediately.”