Washington, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) issued the following statement after passage of the $900 billion emergency coronavirus relief package and $1.4 trillion omnibus in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.
“Yesterday's vote to pass COVID relief is merely a down payment on what must be done to help millions of Americans left struggling, hungry, and on the verge of homelessness because Republicans are hellbent on sabotaging the economy and the Biden-Harris Administration’s ability to respond to multiple national crises. Democrats had to fight tooth and nail to extend unemployment benefits with $300 weekly payments and the eviction moratorium. We had to battle to provide funding for schools, vaccine distribution, child care, and rental and food assistance. We also beat back an attempt to gut the Federal Reserve’s full authorities, a critical component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ability to build back better than it was before COVID.
I am heartened to see that several of my provisions were included in the omnibus, including nearly $9 million for San Francisco Bay restoration efforts – a 78 percent increase over last year’s funding levels; $30 million for the Childhood Cancer STAR Act; an additional $11 million for the military’s Special Victims’ Counsel program; and a broad authorization for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study San Francisco and San Mateo coastlines for potential sea level rise and coastal erosion infrastructure projects.
However, giving people $600 – approximately $2.25 per day since the CARES Act was passed – and having Republicans proclaim that ‘the best stimulus is a job’ while fighting for tax deductions for three martini lunches is a slap in the face to every hard-working American. The average rent in my district is upwards of $2,900. I spent Saturday at a local food drive where more than 350 people waited hours to receive assistance. People are desperate and the relief portion of this compromise measure is too little, too late for too many.
Though this vote was not a celebration it was critically necessary. Americans can no longer wait for Congress to act. Neither I nor my colleagues in the Democratic party are done fighting. With President-elect Biden at the helm in January, I expect swift action to address numerous needs that we failed to meet or even acknowledge with this agreement.”