FLINT — Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, is leading his congressional colleagues in ensuring that the main priority of the third coronavirus emergency aid package being currently considered in Congress is working class Americans living paycheck to paycheck, including those whose jobs may have been impacted by the pandemic.
Today Kildee, along with 52 Members of Congress, sent a letter to congressional leadership urging that any future coronavirus emergency relief packages must include cash assistance and support to low-income Americans, including working-class Americans who do not file taxes. Kildee is also pushing for expanded unemployment benefits for workers whose jobs have been impacted by the pandemic. Recent proposals in the U.S. Senate have treated low-income earners differently—only providing $600 in cash assistance, compared to $1,200 for other middle-class Americans.
“Direct cash assistance and increased unemployment insurance payments for low-income workers living paycheck to paycheck would have an immediate impact on our economy. Any assistance we get into the hands of these workers now will be directly spent, creating much-needed stimulus for our economy. Our focus should be getting, at a minimum, the same aid to families in a time of need and not treating low-income families differently than other families,” the letter reads in part.
Below is the full text of Congressman Kildee’s letter:
As Congress considers additional emergency supplementals to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, we ask that we prioritize direct support for those that need it most: working class Americans, particularly the millions of families living paycheck to paycheck.
Approximately 40 percent of Americans wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency with cash, savings or a credit-card charge that they could quickly pay off. These families are in the most need of help in these times of need. We are hearing from constituents every day who are afraid that they cannot pay their bills, put food on the table or afford their prescriptions.
To help families get through this crisis, we believe that we must immediately act to provide direct cash assistance or unemployment insurance payments to Americans. Because of the urgency of this crisis, every day we wait to act could mean families are in a worse-off position.
In reviewing the most-recent emergency aid proposal unveiled by Republicans in the U.S. Senate, I am concerned that many workers, including low-income and non-tax filers, are treated differently than others. The legislation would provide checks of $1,200 per adult for many families, as well as $500 for every child in those families. But the poorest families, those with no federal income tax liability, would see smaller benefits.
Direct cash assistance and increased unemployment insurance payments for low-income workers living paycheck to paycheck would have an immediate impact on our economy. Any assistance we get into the hands of these workers now will be directly spent, creating much-needed stimulus for our economy. Our focus should be getting, at a minimum, the same aid to families in a time of need and not treating low-income families differently than other families.
Thank you for your consideration.
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) Chief Deputy Whip of the Democratic Caucus, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-18), Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01), Congressman Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Congressman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-14), Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)), Congressman Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09), Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-03), Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Congresswoman Eleonor Holmes Norton (DC), Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09). Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51), Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-02), Congressman Raul M. Griijalva (AZ-03), Congressman Jason Crow (CO-06), Congressman Gil Reyes (TX-16), Congressman Jesús G. “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02), Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04), Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03), Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Congressman Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Congresswoman Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Congressman Judy Chu (CA-27), Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-04), Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Congressman Andre Carson (IN-07), Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA-44), Congresswoman Nydia M. Velasquez (NY-12), Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-38), Congressman Steven Lynch (MA-08), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Congresswoman Susan Wild (PA-07), Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-01), Congressman Gerry Conolly (VA-11), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), and Congresswoman Susan Bonamici (OR-01).