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April 23, 2020

Statement on Passage of Interim Emergency Coronavirus Relief Package

April 23, 2020


Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán made the following remarks on the passage of Interim Emergency Coronavirus Relief Package:


As our country faces unprecedented hurt, pain and loss, Congress must come together to help the American people. We did that. The bill was far from perfect, but I supported it because it was necessary to protect the health and well-being of millions of Americans.

My Democratic colleagues and I are focused on protecting lives during this public health crisis, and protecting families, workers and small businesses from economic hardship during these challenging times.

The Interim CARES Act reflects some Democratic values that House Democrats had to fight to include, such as more funding for hospitals, more funding for testing and equal funding opportunities for small mom-and-pop businesses. Making sure the small business funds are available to women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses was important. Everyone deserves equal access. House Democrats were successful in having billions set aside for those small businesses who may not have the same resources and connections as the big corporations who don’t need a bail out.

While there are good things in the bill, many important Democratic values were not included. Unfortunately, all taxpaying people are not treated equally. Instead, Republicans prevailed in excluding undocumented taxpaying workers from receiving assistance, despite many of these workers being responsible for producing our food and stocking our grocery stores during this pandemic. Many mixed-status families were also excluded because one person may lack a Social Security number.

We are today, and have always been, a nation of immigrants. The contributions of modern immigrants are at the heart of our economy, yet they continue to be left behind. That is shameful and unacceptable. We must continue to fight for them. I will.

Regrettably, the bill also failed to provide other assistance, such as hazard pay to those on the front lines and help for our cities which fund firefighters, police and teachers. It also failed to protect our Post Office.

I will continue to champion these Democratic values, and more, to be included in the next CARES Act.