The White House on Saturday unveiled executive actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alabama Arise communications director Chris Sanders issued the following statement Tuesday in response:
“These executive actions put a Band-Aid over a gaping economic wound. They don’t stem the tide of evictions or extend rental or mortgage assistance to help people stay in their homes. They don’t increase SNAP assistance to help millions of struggling families keep food on the table. And they don’t provide federal relief to help states avoid layoffs and cuts to education, Medicaid and other vital services.
“These actions don’t offer sufficient relief for millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic. The weekly federal increase to unemployment insurance benefits would drop from $600 to $300, with Alabama and other cash-strapped states expected to contribute another $100 despite slumping tax revenues. And without new legislation, the federal money would only last for a few weeks. Congress can eliminate this uncertainty by extending federal funding for the $600 weekly UI benefit increase into next year.
“It’s unclear if some of the executive actions would survive a legal challenge. Even if they would, they’re inadequate to address the size and scope of suffering across Alabama and across our country. There’s simply no replacement for a bipartisan relief package. Congress must step up quickly to ease the suffering and help struggling families make ends meet.”