INVEST IN AMERICA WEEKLY ROUNDUP

This week from Invest in America and Invest in America Action:  

  • Invest In America Action launched a new campaign, “Countdown to Prevent Catastrophe,” alongside Tax March, Protect Our Care, and Coronavirus War Room, which stresses the importance of not allowing Senate Republicans to delay passage of the American Rescue Plan before the expiration of unemployment benefits on March 14.
    • The campaign includes: 
      • five-figure digital ad campaign that will run “above the fold” on high-traffic political news sites through March 14. View the digital ads here.
      • virtual “Countdown to Prevent Catastrophe” clock tracking the days until March 14. View the virtual countdown clock here.
      • new video highlighting everything the U.S. economy stands to lose if Senate Republicans are successful in delaying the American Rescue Plan past March 14. Watch the video here.
      • A research report detailing the ripple effect of economic consequences the U.S. economy will face if Senate Republicans successfully delay the American Rescue Plan past March 14. View the report here.
  • Invest In America Action held a press call with Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden and Employ America Policy Director Elizabeth Pancotti to discuss what is at stake for the 11.4 million Americans relying on Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan before March 14 and offer context around the February jobs report.
  • Invest In America released a new poll with Data For Progress showing that a bipartisan majority of voters support aid for state and local governments as a part of the American Rescue Plan, even if it increases the national debt.
  • Zac Petkanas, senior advisor to Invest in America Action, joined Jess McIntosh and Zerlina Maxwell on Sirius XM’s Signal Boost to discuss the urgency of passing the American Rescue Plan, which has earned vast and bipartisan support from the American people. Listen to the full interview here.

INVEST IN AMERICA COVERAGE

Forbes: To Provide Unemployment Benefits And Other Needed Aid, Washington Must Pass Biden’s Relief Bill
Even as they digest the bad news that a simple minimum wage increase can’t be included in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package, Congressional Democrats are moving rapidly to pass the overall legislation.  They are doing the right thing.  A new advocacy campaign—“Countdown to Prevent Catastrophe”—says the bill must pass before March 14th to help millions of families, small businesses, and the economy.

The “Countdown” Campaign goes public today (you can link to the project here.)  Launched by three progressive organizations—Invest in America Action, Tax March, and Protect Our Care—the campaign warns that extended unemployment benefits passed last summer expire in less than two weeks, on March 14.  And other critical policies need attention and funding to provide fuller relief from the pandemic and accompanying recession. 

Failing to act will cause millions to lose unemployment benefits, especially Black, Hispanic, and women workers in low-wage industries.  And lost benefits in turn will reduce consumer spending and hurt the economy while putting the health and homes of families at risk. 

CNBC: Lawmakers, policy analysts call for federal unemployment to offer $400 weekly boost, expire in September
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) reiterated the need to pass the next round of stimulus relief ahead of March 14, extend federal unemployment programs through September and provide a $400 weekly boost to jobless benefits on a press call hosted by Invest in America Action, a progressive advocacy group.

The senate finance committee chairman joined Elizabeth Pancotti, policy director at Employ America, Wednesday to discuss the latest negotiations over the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The House passed its version of legislation early Saturday, and the Senate is debating provisions this week.
[…]
Wyden added Democratic senators are making “good progress” on negotiations and consider passage of the bill by March 14, when current legislation expires, a “top priority.”

CNBC: Sen. Ron Wyden said it’s a ‘prescription for trouble’ to end jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed
Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Wednesday it’s a “prescription for trouble” to end jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and gig workers in August, during a congressional recess, instead of September.   
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“I wanted to keep the income thresholds to receive a full $1,400 payment at the level in the previous relief packages,” Wyden said Wednesday in a press call. “And we have succeeded on that front.”
[…]
“It is a prescription for trouble to have this expire in August,” which would occur during a congressional recess, he said.

“I’m going to fight like hell to get this extended to September,” he said. “It defies common sense for Congress to set up another cliff, and it’s in the middle of August.”

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski writes in The Appeal: State And Local Leaders Want More Covid-19 Relief
Last week, President Biden held a town hall in Wisconsin to advocate for the American Rescue Plan Act. This legislation, which has been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, would give $350 billion to state and local governments to keep essential workers on the job, get Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, and support local economies.

This vision is incredibly popular with Americans; in a national poll last month, 72 percent of respondents voiced support for the American Rescue Plan.
[…]
The reason is simple. Budget shortfalls have already forced cuts of more than 1.4 million critical public service workers. The prospect of fewer firefighters, fewer teachers, and fewer police officers in our cities, counties, and towns is real. 

That’s why I signed a letter with 17 other state treasurers urging our congressional delegations to support President Biden’s plan. Like I have in Wisconsin, many of these treasurers have been working since July in their states to urge our federal representatives to provide more help.

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