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Top #5Actions of the Past Week: May 22, 2020

Tell the Senate: Tax cuts for working families, not millionaires!

Greetings. We hope your week has gone as well as possible, and you'll have some time to relax and recharge this weekend. We're sharing our latest list of top actions from the past week, featuring important items on taxes, healthcare, and SNAP. You can also sign up to mail postcards encouraging moms to vote, and to join a special #KeepMarching meeting focused on small-group dialogue. Scroll down to find out more, and please share this list with family and friends too.

Together we are powerful! Here's the list: 

1. Tell the Senate: Tax cuts for working families, not millionaires!

BACKGROUND: The House of Representatives just passed the HEROES Act! Included in this important COVID-19 relief legislation is an expansion of the EITC and Child Tax Credit to struggling families and the repeal of the #MillionairesGiveaway—a provision previously included in another COVID-19 relief bill that has NOTHING to do with coronavirus or helping our shattered economy but gives a whopping $135 billion tax cut to only 43,000 U.S. millionaires. Now it's up to the U.S. Senate to vote on the HEROES Act. We need our elected leaders to support families living paycheck-to-paycheck, not give no-strings-attached windfalls to the already mega-rich! ***SIGN OUR LETTER NOW calling on your U.S. Senators to repeal the #MillionairesGiveaway and instead pass working family tax credits that boost our families!

2. Quick Signature: COVID-19 shows why we all need health care!

BACKGROUND: No matter where we come from, or what our color, all of us should be able to access health care when we get sick. Now more than ever, the COVID-19 crisis has shown us that our health depends on the person next to us, and the person next to them. Ensuring that we all can access health care is how we take care of ourselves. Join us to ask President Trump and Republican State Attorneys General to drop the lawsuit asking the courts to strike down the entire ACA as unconstitutional. If they succeed in your lawsuit, at least 20 million people would become uninsured and millions more could be charged more or denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Add your name now! 

 

3. Send a Letter to the Editor to Speak Up for Hungry Families!

BACKGROUND: We need our elected leaders to prioritize the nutrition needs of our families. They must guarantee that anyone who needs nutrition assistance is able to access it and increase SNAP (food stamp) benefits to better serve struggling families. Congress is about to enter tough negotiations on the next COVID-19 relief bill. The House of Representatives have passed their bill, but Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies have come straight out and said multiple times that they don’t want to boost SNAP in any way. We want to raise the profile of this issue by placing Letters to the Editor in local papers around the country so Congress feels pressured to take action as soon as possible! ***Send a letter to your local paper calling on Congress to boost nutrition assistance and SNAP in their next COVID-19 relief package!

4. Sign up for "Alone: Solitude or Isolation?" - An extra-special #KeepMarching online meeting with Living Room Conversations, May 28, 8pm ET/ 5pm PT

BACKGROUND: In guided, structured Zoom conversations, groups of four to seven people will gather for about 60 minutes to listen to and be heard by each other, sharing thoughts and personal experiences about aloneness. Our social nature is part of our humanity. People tend to like being with other people, and many of us need other people in order to be healthy and happy. The feeling of being alone can weigh heavily on an individual. Yet, for some people, solitude is tranquil, relaxing, and even spiritually rewarding. The current need to physically isolate ourselves from others is putting limits on our social connections. What is this experience like for you? Join us to discuss! 

5. Help Us Send 1,000,000 Voting Reminder Postcards to Moms! 

BACKGROUND: Help us send 1,000,000 voting reminder postcards to moms who haven’t always voted in the past to help them exert their voting power this November. Sign up to receive free packets of 10 pre-stamped, pre-addressed, gorgeous, eye-catching postcards for you to fill out in a jiffy, which, a few weeks before the Nov. 3 elections, we’ll release in a tidal wave of heart-felt mom-to-mom messages to vote. Get your free postcards now! 

Thank you for all you do, and have a good weekend. 

 

What You Need to Know About the New Federal Emergency Paid Leave

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Big News! For the first time ever, thanks to the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act, our nation will have a *limited*, nation-wide, paid sick days and paid family leave law in place during the COVID-19 crisis.

The new law is a huge deal and we all helped make it happen. Thank you!

But how will it work? Who's covered? How do you access the benefit? Scroll down for useful resources including a detailed fact sheet and handy infographic. 

Editor’s Note: This information is accurate as of today, 4/17/2020. These policies are continuing to evolve at the federal level, as well as at the state levels, and they may change, so please check back here on the MomsRising blog regularly for updated information.

While this package is a huge step forward, it's not enough. As many as 96 million working people are not covered, and it expires at the end of 2020. So be sure to click the link to take action on our petition calling on leaders to do more, and share your story about needing paid leave, too. We must keep the pressure on.  

MomsRising will keep updating this information and sharing additional resources as they're available.

The Facts: Who's covered, how it works, and more. 

Quick overview on the blog: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: New federal paid leave laws and what they mean for our families

Fact sheet to download and share: 

Check if you're eligible:


 

The Work! We must keep the pressure on to win paid leave for all! 


 

SIGN UP for 10 *FREE* voting reminder postcards!

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[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Beautiful artwork by Favianna Rodriguez with an image of four stylized colorful human faces and the words "Be A Voter, Raise a Voter. The future is what we do together."]

So many things feel uncertain right now, but one thing that feels very certain is the urgent need for everyone to vote in 2020. You, me, and all of our neighbors, near and far.

Here’s the great news: MomsRising has a super easy, high-impact, and FREE way for YOU to help get out the vote while social distancing!

>>> SIGN UP HERE to receive a FREE packet of 10 eye-catching voting reminder postcards to fill out!

Our goal is to reach 1 million moms who don’t always vote and need some extra encouragement! Can you help us make it happen? Research shows that handwritten notes are one of the most powerful ways to get an infrequent voter to the polls

Here’s the nitty gritty → We'll send you, for free, a packet of 10 pre-addressed, pre-stamped postcards along with some quick instructions. All you'll need to do is write a quick note of encouragement on each and send them back to us with the prepaid return envelope provided. We’ll store the postcards until it's time to drop them in the mail before the November 2020 election!

Don’t wait! Sign up now to receive your FREE packet of 10 GOTV postcards to fill out!

*** If you’d like to power up and write 100 or more postcards for our Get-Out-The-Vote campaign, that’s an option on the sign-up page!

Here’s the thing: We’re not just activating voters to vote — we’re also activating votes for healthcare, equal pay, paid family leave, and all the other issues dear to our hearts.

Join us in turning out the vote for healthcare, equal pay, paid family leave, and paid sick days!

Together, we are a powerful force in driving women and moms to the polls in 2020!

P.S. - The beautiful artwork on the postcard featured above is by Favianna Rodriquez!

News You Can Use: How To Apply for COVID19 Assistance

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Editor’s Note: This information is accurate as of today, 4/28/2020. These policies are continuing to evolve at the federal level, as well as at the state levels, and they may change, so please check back here on the MomsRising blog regularly for updated information.

MomsRising was joined by experts from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), National Employment Law Project (NELP), Food Research and Action Council (FRAC), and National Immigration Law Center (NILC), for an online webinar to discuss the nuts and bolts about what you need to know to apply for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. We discussed the new COVID-19 programs just passed by Congress, including paid sick days/paid family leave, unemployment insurance, nutrition assistance, and the impacts of these programs on immigrant families.

You can find the full video here:

Check out the slides from the various presentations:

**MomsRising wants to hear from YOU about how you and your community have been impacted by the coronavirus. Share your thoughts and story with us here: https://action.momsrising.org/survey/CoronavirusStories/

Additional Resources

Please check out these additional resources for key information on COVID-19 support programs for you and your family. 

Unemployment Insurance:

Go here to find your state unemployment office, where you will need to go to apply for benefits: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus/unemployment-insurance#find-state-unemployment-insurance-contacts

Paid Sick Leave and Sick Days:

Economic Impact Payments/Direct Payments Checks:

Small Business Resources:

More resources on workplace rights:

  • The Center for WorkLife Law is offering a free legal helpline for workers nationwide who have questions about their workplace rights related to coronavirus. Helpline callers can connect with attorneys to receive information about how to protect their incomes, health benefits, and jobs while taking care of their families and their health during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • New York Times Coronavirus Tips and Advice

We received many questions during the webinar that we were unable to address during the actual event. We will do our best to answer these questions and update this section as we receive new information. If you have additional questions, please leave them in the comments.

Unemployment Insurance

Q: How do I apply for Unemployment Insurance?

A: To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online.

  • You should contact your state's unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after becoming unemployed.
  • Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.
  • When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
  • Find the contact information for your state's unemployment office to start your claim.

More information here: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus/unemployment-insurance#how-do-i-apply

Q: Prior to the pandemic I was on unemployment insurance and I am about to exhaust my benefits. What is available to me?

A: Under the CARES Act states are permitted to extend unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks under the new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. PEUC benefits are available for weeks of unemployment beginning after your state implements the new program and ending with weeks of unemployment ending on or before December 31, 2020. The program covers most individuals who have exhausted all rights to regular unemployment compensation under state or federal law and who are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work as defined by state law. Importantly, the CARES Act gives states flexibility in determining whether you are “actively seeking work” if you are unable to search for work because of COVID-19, including because of illness, quarantine, or movement restrictions.

In addition, if you have exhausted the 13 weeks of additional benefits available under the PEUC program, you may be eligible to continue receiving benefits under the PUA program. PUA benefits are available for a period of unemployment of up to 39 weeks, meaning that if you have exhausted regular UC and PEUC benefits in fewer than 39 weeks, you may be eligible to receive assistance under PUA for the remaining weeks within PUA’s 39 week period.

Q: Am I able to get Unemployment Insurance if my pay was cut?

A: Probably. Every state has some kind of partial coverage that allows unemployment insurance to replace part of your pay if hours are reduced. But the amount replaced varies quite a bit by state.

Q: Is Unemployment Insurance taxed?

A: If you received unemployment compensation during the year, you should receive Form 1099-G, showing the amount you were paid. Any unemployment compensation received must be included in your income.

Q: I live in FL, but I'm staying with my sister in GA for a couple of months until this blows over. Should I file in FL or GA?

A: You should file for unemployment insurance in the state you last worked in – they will have your work records.

Q: Is there a minimum someone needs to have earned in the previous year in order to get unemployment insurance?

A: For regular UI there is, but that is not the case for the new PUA. Workers failing minimum monetary eligibility should apply for PUA benefits.

Q: Do independent contractors eventually have to repay unemployment, since as I understand it, we are not paying into that program when we pay taxes?

A: Unemployment benefits – any of them – are taxed as regular wages. So if you get a benefit, keep some aside to be safe at tax time.

Q:  If I’m receiving the $600/week is this considered earned income next year?

A: Yes.

Q: I only started working 3 weeks before the pandemic started. What will they base my Unemployment Insurance on?

A: You should apply for PUA – all you should need to do to get the minimum benefit is establish connection to the workforce and then you will get the minimum weekly benefit plus $600 if approved.

Paid Leave/Sick Days:

Q: Can a worker take FMLA expansion, sick leave and then partial unemployment? 

A: If a worker is unable to work (or telework) because they are caring for a son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable:

  • A worker should first request emergency paid sick leave (to cover the first 10 days that are unpaid in emergency FMLA) and then request emergency FMLA from their employer. If they exhaust their 12 weeks of emergency FMLA, they should first see if their employer will provide any accommodations. If their employer is unable or unwilling to do this, they can check with their state to see if qualify for Unemployment Insurance.
  • If a worker is unable to work (or telework) because they are experiencing or caring for an individual experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or seeking a medical diagnosis, subject to a government-mandated quarantine or isolation order:
    • A worker should request 10 days of emergency paid sick days from their employer. Once they exhaust their emergency paid sick days, they should first see if their employer will provide any accommodations. If their employer is unable or unwilling to do this, they can check with their state to see if qualify for Unemployment Insurance.

Q: Am I eligible to take paid leave or paid sick days if the company I’m working for is filing for bankruptcy or going out of business soon?

A: According to the US Department of Labor, if your employer closes while you are on paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, your employer must pay for any paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave you used before the employer closed. As of the date your employer closes your worksite, you are no longer entitled to paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, but you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

If her sister had access to health insurance, she may still be with us.

MomsRising collects stories from our members all across the U.S. about how health policies are impacting families. Here is a powerful story about the need to make sure everyone has access to quality, affordable health care from a MomsRising volunteer in Illinois.

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"My sister developed cervical cancer in 2007. She went months without telling anyone or getting it checked out because she and her husband had no health insurance. By the time she sought treatment, when her husband realized what was going on, it was rather large and she required extensive radiation 5 days per week for 6 weeks.

In summer of 2008 a follow up PET scan showed there was still some cancer, a very small spot, so she had a hysterectomy. Blessedly, all of this was covered by a federally funded program for breast and cervical cancer. Even so, she was extremely worried because this program was only to cover cancer treatment. All of the radiation damaged her colon. In 2009 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and again underwent radiation plus chemo.

In 2013 she developed a fistula, which required a non-reversible colostomy in 2013. She became very weak several weeks later. She put off seeking treatment that summer because she was afraid it wasn't directly related to her cancer and wouldn't be covered. Later that summer she became septic and we lost her.

If she'd had regular health insurance, she'd have been getting preventative care. She also would've sought care sooner for her post colostomy issues. If there had been universal health care, I believe she'd still be with us. She was my best friend and I miss her constantly."

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Does your family have a health care story? Personal experiences are powerful and can make a HUGE difference in helping elected leaders and others understand how health care policies impact families. Have you or a family member:

  • Had COVID-19 (coronavirus) and had to receive treatment?
  • Had a ‘pre-existing condition’ like asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure (or even a c-section)?
  • Gotten health insurance coverage through your state’s Marketplace or Medicaid program?
  • Had an illness or disability that requires expensive prescription drugs or frequent medical visits, treatments, or surgeries?
  • Experienced discriminatory behavior from a medical professional?
  • Received a surprise medical bill after receiving medical treatment?

You can share your family's health care story here: https://action.momsrising.org/survey/healthcarestories_2020/?source=blog

Tax cuts for millionaires won’t cure COVID-19!

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With unemployment numbers reaching levels we haven’t seen since the Great Depression and lines for food banks wrapping around the block, it doesn’t seem like it’s too much to ask that funding for COVID-19 relief be targeted at those most in need, not the super wealthy.

But the GOP always has a way to sneak in tax cuts for their super wealthy cronies and they did it again with the CARES Act!

***SIGN OUR LETTER NOW calling on Congress to repeal the #MillionairesGiveaway and instead pass working family tax credits that boost struggling families!

Here’s what’s going on: Congress passed the CARES Act back in late March. This $2 trillion COVID-19 aid package was meant to support struggling families and provide needed assistance to small businesses and cash-strapped states (and, for the most part, it did!). But somehow GOP leaders were able to sneak in an obscure provision allowing wealthy owners of certain businesses (like real estate firms and hedge funds) to receive huge tax savings and refunds, allowing rich business owners to exploit losses unrelated to the pandemic. The cost of this Millionaires Giveaway: $135 billion! 

To be clear, this Millionaires Giveaway has NOTHING to do with COVID-19 or helping our shattered economy recover from this pandemic and will continue long after COVID-19 ends. It comes with no strings attached. Business owners don’t have to promise to keep on workers or pay the money back like airlines and other corporations getting bailouts. 

Despite millions of people out of work and our frontline workers still without the tests, vaccine, and protective gear they need to continue their heroic jobs, the Millionaires Giveaway benefits only 43,000 millionaires who on average will catch a $1.6 million windfall. Outrageous! What could we do with $135 billion instead? We could pay for N95 masks—one hundred each for every American!— plus 1 million hospital-grade ventilators. 

We need our elected leaders to support families living paycheck-to-paycheck, not give no-strings-attached windfalls to the already mega-rich!

***SIGN OUR LETTER NOW calling on Congress to repeal the #MillionairesGiveaway and instead pass working family tax credits that boost our families!

An effort is underway, led by U.S. Senator Whitehouse and U.S. Representative Doggett, to repeal the #MillionairesGiveaway. And we have good news! This important provision was included in the HEROES Act— just passed in the House the other day! Even better, the HEROES Act also includes a temporary increase for tax year 2020 (next year) in the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This temporary expansion is well-timed since most economists are predicting unemployment will still be at double-digit levels next year. We need more provisions like this and less like the #MillionairesGiveaway in order to get our families and economy through this pandemic and economic downturn.

***Tell the Senate: Pass the HEROES Act and boost working families, not wealthy millionaires!

The HEROES Act has a lot of COVID-19 relief provisions we think our families need—both on the tax front but also for nutrition, paid family leave and paid sick days, support for hospitals and states, hazard pay for frontline workers, and more direct payments for struggling families, including immigrant families. But negotiations in Congress are starting to get tough. Not everyone is on the same page about the need another COVID-19 relief package—Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies have come straight out and said they don’t think we need another coronavirus-related bill. We need YOU to help change their minds and let them know this is crucial to our families. After you sign our letter, share this blogpost with your friends and family and post the action link to Facebook so others can take action as well.

There’s a lot that needs to be done so our families and economy can recover from this pandemic, but I think we all can agree that giving millions of dollars away to the uber-wealthy is not one of the actions Congress should be taking! Thank you for all your support and continuing to speak out during this difficult time!

P.S. Wondering how you can apply for SNAP (food stamps), as well as, other nutrition assistance programs, Unemployment Insurance, and if you qualify for the new paid sick days and paid family leave programs passed by Congress? We’ve got your covered! Check out the video of our webinar and resource page.

P.P.S. Want to know more about the #MillionairesGiveaway and help spread the word about the repeal? Check out this short video on Twitter by our partners at Americans for Tax Fairness.

THIS TUES: Add your voice to the next COVID-19 stimulus!

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Last Friday, the U.S. House released a new phase of the COVID-19 relief package, the HEROES Act. Because of the efforts of fearless MomsRising members and action takers like you, many of your priorities and demands are included in the package including: a HEROES’ fund of $200 billion for essential workers who are risking their lives in the midst of the pandemic; a stronger Payroll Protection Program (PPP) which will extend the urgently needed PPP loan program as well as help ensure communities of color receive the support they need and quickly; an increase in funding for testing and treatment of the virus; and, also importantly, an extension of Paid Family Leave and Unemployment benefits.

-> Tell your U.S. Senators: Pass the HEROES Act quickly! Right now is not the time for U.S. Senate to stall-- millions of Americans are faced with both financial and healthcare burdens and require immediate relief. 

The HEROES Act is just a start. Congress must also turn its attention to creating more pathways and funding to reduce incarceration, which is critical to public health; and to the emerging crisis in child care, which has become a national emergency with centers closing every day and many not expected to be able to reopen so that parents can go to work without substantial public investments.

MomsRising has joined forces with the National Women’s Law Center, Black Women’s Roundtable, Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, NARAL, Women’s March and 70 women’s organizations from around the country to demand more -- much more -- for women and our list of demands remains the same:

  • Prioritize our health and safety ahead of corporations.
  • Get life-sustaining relief to us NOW.
  • Make state governments strong; they are our lifeline.
  • Stop the attacks on our reproductive care, including abortion access.
  • Protect our safety and our right to vote in 2020.

Now that the U.S. House has passed the HEROES Act, the U.S.Senate must do everything in their power to make sure this Act passes quickly too. Women, our sisters, our people cannot wait any longer for protection from the devastations of the COVID-19 crisis. We need relief, funding, and support NOW. 

By taking action with us, you are standing up for your family, friends, neighbors, immigrants, and essential workers. Help us all by continuing to keep the pressure on the U.S. Senate by signing on with us.

*After you sign on, please take a moment to share the action link on Facebook or Twitter -- or share this post with friends.  The more of us who take action, the faster we’ll make changes together.

#WeDemandMore

P.S. Mark your calendar now to join us this Tuesday, May 19, for a national day of action. We will keep our U.S. Senators’ phones ringing all day long, with demands to give women the COVID-19 relief they deserve. 

P.P.S. MomsRising and dozens of our We Demand More Coalition partners are working together to fight for women and families. Has your family and community been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Tell us your COVID-19 story. Personal experiences are powerful and can make a HUGE difference in helping elected leaders understand why taking critical steps—like passing paid sick days and ensuring COVID-19 testing is widely available—are essential to the health and well-being of our communities. 

P.P.P.S. Are you looking for more information on how to access the COVID-19 support programs Congress has already passed (like unemployment insurance, paid family leave and paid sick days, and nutrition assistance)? We’ve got you covered! Check out this video and resources from a webinar we held last week.

Sign On to Tell Congress: Boost SNAP!

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At MomsRising we are hearing from families every day wondering how they are going to put food on the table:

“I am a mother of two and I am expecting my third. My oldest child is nine and she receives free breakfast and lunch at school. Our family lives from paycheck to paycheck and therefore forcing us to spend more money on food impacts our ability to pay additional bills. My infant child also receives free meals and formula at his daycare and while his daycare has not officially closed as of yet, a closure is impending. I am a social worker and I attend to clients' needs directly in their home. This impacts both their health and my family's health. I fear that our meager savings will be wasted on quarantine related expenses.” –Katherine, NY

“I am not able to care for children in my daycare job so my income has been affected. I have food stamps but can't order to get food delivered and I don't drive so must take the bus to Publix against my desire because I don’t think it’s safe. We all need tests and it is not possible.”-Cynthia, FL

Katherine and Cynthia are not alone. Nearly one-fifth of mothers with young children have reported that their children are not getting enough to eat during this pandemic—a terrifying statistic! 

Congress is starting to work on a new COVID-19 relief package and we need to make sure they prioritize the health and well-being of our families by boosting SNAP (food stamps) nutrition assistance to help moms like Katherine and Cynthia.

***SIGN OUR LETTER NOW calling on Senators to include boosts to SNAP (food stamps) in the next COVID-19 relief package!

The Families First Act passed in March was a step in the right direction in addressing the stark nutrition needs of families during this pandemic, but much more is needed. On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that makes necessary changes to SNAP to help families struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Now we need the U.S. Senate to do the same!

We need our Senators to prioritize the nutrition needs of our families. They must guarantee that anyone who needs nutrition assistance is able to access it and increase benefits to better serve struggling families. They can do this in the following ways: 

  • A 15% boost to the maximum SNAP benefit nationwide. This should be tied to an economic indicator, not the duration of the pandemic.
  • Raise the minimum benefit from $16/month to $30/month.
  • Suspend all Trump administrative rules that limit access to SNAP and child nutrition programs in order to remove barriers to access for those in need.

Guaranteeing that struggling families are able to access SNAP quickly and have the extra money they need to make sure they can purchase food during this difficult time also boosts the economy. It’s a win-win! SNAP benefits are one of the fastest, most effective forms of economic stimulus because they get money into the economy very quickly. Some 80 percent of SNAP benefits are redeemed within two weeks of receipt; 97 percent are spent within a month. And this is a positive change for families that can be implemented quickly and efficiently because we already have the infrastructure up and running in all states. This is especially important now as the Unemployment Insurance and direct payment checks are taking a long time to filter down to families.

Boosting SNAP boosts families AND our struggling economy! Congress can’t possibly move their next COVID-19 relief package forward without including crucial improvements to nutrition assistance.

*** Sign our letter now and tell your elected leaders to support hungry families!

In the face of COVID-19, unemployment numbers are skyrocketing to levels we haven’t seen since the Great Depression, and women, especially women of color, are being hit particularly hard by these lay-offs. Despite a major overhaul of our unemployment insurance system, a lot of workers still haven’t seen their benefit checks and the one time $1,200 direct payment the government provided to some families in April is not enough to stretch well into May. Families are struggling to pay all their bills and still put food on the table. Prior to COVID-19, American families were struggling with food insecurity with 1 in 9 Americans, including 11 million children, struggling with hunger—the pandemic has only made this situation worse!

A new survey has shown just how bad things are getting for families: Nearly 23% of households said the food they bought “just didn’t last” and they didn’t have the money to buy more, according to a national survey from late April. That compares to about 12% of households in 2018 and 16% during the worst point of the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009. 

This is why MUCH MORE needs to be done to help struggling and hungry families during this pandemic. We need the Senate to step up to the plate so we can put food on the plate.

***SIGN OUR LETTER calling on the Senate to do as the House just did and boost nutrition assistance and SNAP in their next COVID-19 relief package!

These negotiations in Congress are starting to get tough. Not everyone is on the same page about the need for a boost to SNAP, let alone another COVID-19 relief package—Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies have come straight out and said multiple times that they don’t want to boost SNAP in any way. We need YOU to help change their minds and let them know this is crucial to our families. After you sign our letter, forward this email to your friends and family and post the action link to Facebook so others can take action as well.

Thank you so much for your continued action in speaking out for our families during this truly difficult time!

Quick signature: COVID-19 shows why we need health care!

Family wearing medical masks

No matter where we come from, or what our color, all of us should be able to access health care when we get sick. Now more than ever, the COVID-19 crisis has shown us that our health depends on the person next to us, and the person next to them. Ensuring that we all can access health care is how we take care of ourselves.

That's why it’s unconscionable to think that at any time—but especially in the midst of a pandemic—the President of the United States would be supporting a lawsuit that will rip health care coverage away from at least 20 million people, but that is exactly what is happening.

Quick signature: Tell President Trump and the Republican state attorneys general to drop their lawsuit to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA)!

What’s going on? Just last week, President Donald Trump told reporters that he wants to “terminate” the ACA—a law that has brought the uninsured rate to an historic low. He is currently supporting a coalition of 18 Republican state attorneys general arguing in court that the entirety of the law—including protections for 130 million people with pre-existing conditions—should be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Even Trump’s own Attorney General and Health and Human Services Secretary have unsuccessfully urged him to modify the Administration’s position that the entire law should be struck down.

If Trump and the 18 Republican state attorneys general succeed, it would affect nearly every American in some way:

  • 20 million more people would become uninsured.
  • 130 million people with pre-existing conditions would lose protections.
  • Insurers could once again put annual and lifetime limits on coverage (including employer plans).
  • Young adults would no longer be able to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26.
  • Cost-sharing for preventive services (like annual physicals and birth control) could return.
  • Essential coverages (like maternity, prescription, and mental health care) could be eliminated from some plans.

As the COVID-19 crisis disrupts our daily lives, with so many losing their jobs, ability to pay for housing, food, and child care, we should be reinforcing and strengthening public investments that help people get health insurance like the ACA—not tearing them down. If Trump succeeds in having the ACA struck down while so many are suffering, it would cut taxes for those who are the most well-off. For example, households with incomes over $1 million would receive a tax cut of about $46,000 a piece.

Sign on now! During this time of crisis, our health and insurance institutions should be reinforced and strengthened—not be thrown into chaos.