KENNEDY: COVID-19 PACKAGE MUST PUT ESSENTIAL WORKERS & LOW-INCOME FAMILIES IN MASSACHUSETTS FIRST
Newton, MA – Guided by conversations with constituents and local leaders across Massachusetts, Congressman Joe Kennedy III today called on Congressional Leadership to put essential and frontline workers, and low-income families first in the next COVID-19 emergency funding package. In a series of letters to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Mitch McConnell, Kennedy demanded the inclusion of specific funding for firefighters, teachers, child care providers, postal workers and fisheries, as well as billions more for programs protecting low-income families, including more than $1.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and $2.5 billion for the Legal Services Corporation. Building on his recent calls with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal to guarantee Medicare coverage to all recently unemployed people and direct funding to food insecure and environmental justice areas, Kennedy has continuously led efforts to focus recovery efforts on the most vulnerable communities.
“Working families have been hit hardest by this pandemic. They can’t just be a consideration in our efforts to recover and rebuild, they must be at the heart of the actions we take, policies we write and relief we provide. By intentionally providing funding for firefighters, teachers, child care providers and postal workers, we can support the people on the frontlines of this pandemic with more than just words of gratitude. By offering relief to fisheries, we can support the fishermen and fisherwomen who keep our Commonwealth’s economic lifeblood alive along the coast. By investing in the Legal Services Corporation and LIHEAP, we can help families keep their homes and their heat as we brace for the fall and winter, and the potential of another wave of infections.
“Now is not the time to shy away or to allow hypocritical Republicans to hide behind fake concerns about the debt, we need to be big and bold. Our people deserve nothing less.”
In his series of letters to Congressional leaders, Kennedy called for the inclusion of at least:
- $1.5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- $2.5 billion for the Legal Services Corporation
- $1 billion for fisheries
- $1 billion for firefighters through the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) program and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants
- $1.7 million in unqualified funding per public school district
- $50 billion for the Child Care Stabilization Fund, $7 billion in funding for Child Care Development Block Grants, and significant funding increases for Head Start
- $25 billion in emergency financial assistance to the U.S. Postal Service
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