10,000 signatures reached
To: The United States Congress
Bernie has the best COVID-19 plan. Tell Congress to pass it!
Congress is expected to spend $2-trillion to address the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This is necessary to help the expected one-third of Americans who will be out of work and the predicted loss of up to one half of our gross domestic product.
Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders has issued an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic that Congress should use as its blueprint for action. Read his plan at: https://berniesanders.com/issues/emergency-response-coronavirus-pandemic/
Bernie’s plan would:
- Empower Medicare to lead the health care response.
- Keep workers on payroll.
- Prevent small and medium sized businesses from going under.
- Give $2,000 cash payments to every person in America every month for the duration of the crisis.
- Provide unemployment insurance for all at 100 percent of prior salary with a cap of $75,000 a year.
- Ensure emergency paid family and medical leave for all.
- Guarantee that no one goes hungry by expanding Meals on Wheels, school meals, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other programs so that everyone can receive nutritious meals, including delivered to people who cannot leave their homes.
- Stop evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs, suspend payment on mortgage loans for primary residencies and utility bills, provide rental assistance, and restore utility services to customers who have had their utilities shut off.
- Waive all student loan payments for the duration of the emergency.
- Provide emergency shelter, including by utilizing empty hotels.
- Provide states and localities the financial support they need to address the crisis.
- Protect family farmers and save farms by suspending loan payments, extending crop insurance and rural development loans, providing emergency loans, and expanding the Emergency Food Assistance Program.
- Fight corporate corruption and price-gouging.
Bernie’s is a plan on the scale of the problem that will protect all Americans. It will strengthen our healthcare system and social safety nets so that we can endure this crisis and prepare for the next.
Why is this important?
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard is warning that the U.S. could face a 30% unemployment rate and an unprecedented 50% drop in gross domestic product because of shutdowns to contain the coronavirus.
Both Republicans and Democrats agree that massive government support is needed. Congress is expected to pass an economic stimulus package worth $2 trillion, but they are split on where the money should go. Corporate bailouts or worker protections?
Trump and Congressional Republicans are for corporate bailouts. They want a $500 billion slush fund that would give the president unprecedented power to bail out his favorite corporations, with no limits to how firms could use the money and no protections for their workers from layoffs. The bill earmarks $50 billion for airlines, $10 billion for airports, and $3 billion for the petroleum reserve. Trump could even direct cash to his own hotels—and won’t deny he has plans to do so.
We must stop this nefarious attempt to exploit the crisis for the benefit of corporations at the expense of the American people. We must block any action in Congress that would increase inequality or make us more vulnerable to future disasters. As we act to address the current pandemic, we must prepare for additional climate-fueled crises, as the severity and frequency of storms, fires and droughts continues to ramp up.
Bernie’s plan is aligned with the “5 Principles for Just COVID-19 Relief and Stimulus,” as put forward by over 300 environmental, justice, labor, and movement organizations: (1) Health is the top priority, for all people, with no exceptions; (2) Provide economic relief directly to the people; (3) Rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives; (4) Make a down payment on a regenerative economy, while preventing future crises; and, (5) Protect our democratic process while protecting each other.