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WASHINGTON, DC (March 27, 2020) In response to consideration of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) by the U.S. House of Representatives today, following Senate passage, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following statement:

“While this bill is an important emergency response to the crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic, it falls short of the response necessary to protect and support our nation’s most vulnerable communities,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

“By elevating the interests of corporations over the burdens faced by low-income communities, the CARES Act stands to exacerbate racial and economic divides in our country,” Clarke continued. “We know that the people who will be most impacted by the fallout from this crisis are low-income communities, including African Americans and other communities of color.  Congress must immediately begin work on the fourth COVID-19 response bill, prioritizing direct assistance to people, including (1) expanding the eviction moratorium for renters in LIHTC and federally-supported housing to renters in private housing; (2) expanding the paid leave protections to apply to all workers, without employer carve-outs and exceptions; (3) providing significantly greater investments in schools serving students of color, including full funding for whole access to online learning in the home and expanded summer school; and (4) providing the full $2 billion dollars necessary to provide election assistance to the states for the 2020 election.” 

“There is no doubt that Black communities will be hit particularly hard by COVID-19 because of stark racial health disparities, including lower rates of healthcare access and higher rates of chronic disease; systemic discrimination in our healthcare system; and higher rates of poverty, underemployment and unemployment,” said Dariely Rodriguez, Director of the Economic Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “At every stage, we will continue to vigorously advocate for the health, economic well-being, and civil rights of communities of color during this unprecedented pandemic.”

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