For Immediate Release: April 21, 2020
Contact: Lee Morrow, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-601-7871
Despite Republican Partisanship, Interim Emergency Package a Step Forward
Sr. Simone: “It should not take pressure from Congressional Democrats and social justice advocates to get the Republicans to fund our hospitals during a pandemic.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the White House and congressional leaders came to an agreement that provides nearly $500 billion in interim funding to small businesses, hospitals, and COVID-19 testing. NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice supports this funding, but recognizes that there is significantly more work to be done to make our nation healthy.
Initially, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to provide any funding for hospitals and COVID-19 testing, instead only focusing on business. Protecting businesses and all of their employees is crucial, but Senate Republicans must understand that business is not their only responsibility. Hospitals and testing are the only way out of this pandemic, and they need funding now.
Because of pressure from Congressional Democrats and citizen advocates like the members of NETWORK, funding for hospitals and testing was included in this deal. But now is not the time to rest. Senate Republicans still refuse to provide new funding for local governments and food for hungry families. Future legislation is needed to end this pandemic and rebuild our nation, and all of our elected leaders must work together to make that happen. The faithful way forward is together.
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice said:
“It should not take pressure from Congressional Democrats and social justice advocates to get the Republicans to fund our hospitals during a pandemic. The White House and Senate Republicans are playing games with our lives, and that goes against everything my faith teaches. We all know hospitals and COVID-19 testing programs desperately need funding, but Senator McConnell only wanted to help business. Because Democratic Leadership demanded more, this bill is another step forward. But we’re nowhere near finished, and small steps aren’t going to protect the vulnerable families in our nation.
“State and local governments are going broke fighting this disease, and right now Senate Republicans are blocking their funding. Families are going hungry without expanded access to SNAP, and Senator McConnell stands in the way. I pray that Republicans can find it in themselves to set aside their special interests, work together with Democrats to support all people in need, and make our nation healthy again. The faithful way forward is together.”
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org