After two months of Senate inaction, ads put pressure on Sens. McConnell, Daines, Cornyn, Ernst, Collins, Gardner, Hawley, Tillis, and McSally to take action on COVID-19 relief
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, as the U.S. Senate returns to Washington, D.C., after a two-week recess and 60+ days since House passage of the HEROES Act, Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched a six-figure paid ad campaign urging senators to take action on the next phase of COVID-19 relief. The new ads will target Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Martha McSally (R-AZ) — urging constituents to call on their senators to take swift action for our communities.
Two months ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. Since that time, the nation’s COVID-19 cases have soared to more than 3.5 million, unemployment rates have remained in the double digits, 5.4 million people have lost their health insurance, and voters have been forced to risk their safety to vote. The unemployment programs intended to keep Americans out of poverty are hurtling towards their expiration date at the end of this month, and the health care infrastructure remains woefully inadequate. Despite the urgent health care, economic, and voting reform needs, Senate Majority leadership has refused to take up the next phase of relief for families, instead spending their time confirming the Trump administration’s judicial nominees.
Statement from Jenny Lawson, vice president of organizing and campaigns, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“The United States now has more than 3.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases — but if you thought these dire numbers would finally drive Senate Majority leadership to act, you thought wrong. The HEROES Act has been collecting dust on the Senate shelf for two months now. All the while, families have struggled to survive, and people of color, who are more likely to be in frontline jobs and face barriers to care due to systemic racism, have been all but ignored. We need urgent action to protect our health, economic security, and elections, and we needed it months ago. Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be urging constituents to contact senators like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Josh Hawley, Steve Daines, Martha McSally, and others who have refused to take action as the country feels the weight of this public health crisis.”
The weight of the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen hard on Latinx, Black, and Indigenous communities. For too long in the United States, we have underinvested and under-resourced Latinx, Black, and Indigenous communities — leading to less access to health care and dramatic health care disparities. The New York Times reported that new federal data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed Black and Latinx people in the United States have been "three times as likely to become infected as their white neighbors ... [and] nearly twice as likely to die from the virus as white people." Women, and especially Black and Latinx women, also disproportionately bear the impact of the crisis — as frontline, essential workers as well as those particularly vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
Among other critical provisions, the (HEROES) Act invests in the health of our communities by increasing funding to state Medicaid programs, ensuring free COVID-19 testing and related treatment for all, expanding affordable health care coverage and other health care options to people of all immigration statuses; supports needed voting reforms to ensure safe and secure elections; and puts personal protective equipment in the hands of frontline workers.
In April, nearly 60 of the nation’s most respected advocacy organizations — including Planned Parenthood Action Fund — came together to launch the We Demand More coalition to advocate for the health, safety, and economic security of women currently on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.