Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday added to a growing chorus of progressive voices demanding the Senate act with urgency to pass a coronavirus relief bill that addresses the economic crisis sparked by the pandemic by providing an extension in a federally funded boost in unemployment benefits and other aid.
“The clock is ticking,” the Vermont independent declared on Twitter.
The clock is ticking. While the economy tanks, some 30 million workers are losing their $600 a week unemployment supplement. Their families are facing hunger, eviction and foreclosure. The House has acted. The Senate must act NOW.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 2, 2020
“The House has acted,” Sanders added, referring to the HEROES Act passed by the lower chamber in May. “The Senate must act NOW.”
As Common Dreams reported Saturday, Senate Republicans left town Friday as the unemployment benefit boost expired, leaving millions of Americans in economic limbo and facing eviction and misery.
“In the middle of this pandemic they’re playing with us,” Candida Kevorkian, a 53-year-old California, told the Washington Post.
The continuing Republican inaction on the relief bill is tantamount to sin, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev Dr Liz Theoharis wrote for Common Dreams Sunday:
Our government’s abandonment of the people—in the midst of the greatest public health crisis in a century and an economic downturn that could rival the Great Depression (it was just announced that US GDP fell by annualized rate of 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020, the greatest collapse of the US economy in a single quarter in history)—is sin of the highest order. The ancient words of the Prophet Isaiah ring with unnerving relevance today: “Woe to you who legislate evil, who rob the poor of their rights, making women and homeless children your prey.”
New York State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou tweeted her support for Sanders’ call to action.
“My family needs this,” said Niou. “My neighbors need this. My community needs this.”