Although the vaccines are at last moving, millions of workers, especially in hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, remain unemployed. These sectors will not resume normal operations until the Summer, but the supplementary unemployment benefits that help them survive the interim expired at the end of July. The Catholic Labor Network and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have been calling for a second round of covid relief for months.
We are pleased that a bipartisan group of Senators have put together a new covid relief proposal. Today the Catholic Labor Network addressed a letter to all 23 Catholic US Senators asking that they support the compromise package and urge the Senate leadership to bring it to the floor for a vote. The text of the letter is below…
This year’s pandemic has devastated working families, with millions of essential workers serving us in jobs that put them at risk of exposure to COVID, and millions more displaced from employment, facing poverty, hunger and homelessness.
In March, both political parties came together in an admirable show of unity to provide relief in the CARES Act, a measure that provided funds to fight the disease and also the economic hardship families faced as a result of pandemic-driven shutdowns. Unfortunately, much of this relief has already expired and the remainder soon will. This calls for renewed action.
“Earlier this year, the leaders of our government reached a bipartisan deal that provided significant relief to those suffering from the health and economic crises that we continue to experience,” observed Bishop Paul Coakley, Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development in September. “Today, I ask our leaders in Washington to once again set aside their differences in order to reach an agreement that prioritizes the poor and vulnerable…May God grant all those participating in negotiations a heart that eagerly responds to the cry of the poor.”
We in the Catholic Labor Network are pleased to see that – after much delay – a bipartisan group of Senators is proposing a new round of COVID relief. With millions of displaced workers facing an end to unemployment benefits and protections against eviction, we believe that this comes none too soon.
As fellow Catholic Christians, we ask you to appeal to the Majority Leader for a speedy vote on this new COVID relief package, and to support its passage when it comes to the floor.
Thank you for your consideration.
The Catholic Labor Network