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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

The Time to Act is Now: A Legislative Update

Sep 15, 2020

In the more than 120 days since House Democrats passed The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800, nearly 20 million more Americans have been forced to file for unemployment, countless families are struggling to buy groceries and keep a roof over their heads, and our economy remains in shambles. We also can’t forget the fact that we are in the midst of a national reckoning on systemic racism, too. I believe the time to act is now.

Someone might want to let Republican Leadership know because for the last four months they and the White House denied, delayed, and distracted from their abysmal failure to write a COVID-19 response bill to address the virus’ impact on all of our lives and livelihood. Late last week, they continued to fail American workers, families and small businesses with a vote on an incredibly inadequate piece of legislation that was nothing more than an ill-conceived attempt at political gamesmanship. Their proposal provided no direct economic impact stimulus payments, cut emergency unemployment benefits by 50 percent, conditioned school aid on arbitrary and extreme reopening guidelines, and much more. The bill ultimately failed to gain enough votes to pass the Senate. So, now I call on Senate Republicans and the Trump Administration to work with Democrats in good faith to pass a big, bold comprehensive plan that makes critical investments like those in The Heroes Act. Learn more about The Heroes Act and its ‘For the People’ provisions on my website.

Additional ‘For the People’ initiatives addressing COVID-19 I am proud to support include:

  • Cosponsoring the Child Nutrition Relief Act, H.R. 7764, a measure to extend school meal waivers through the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Cosponsoring H.R. 6644, a bill to require health insurers cover telehealth services during the pandemic.
  • Cosponsoring the Ending Health Disparities During COVID-19 Act, H.R. 8200, a piece of legislation to address COVID-19-related health disparities affecting Black Americans.

My work ‘For the People’ doesn’t stop there.

With the 2020 Presidential Election less than two months away, it is vital that voters can exercise their constitutional right safely and securely. That is why I joined the entire Ohio Congressional Democratic delegation to call on Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to provide prepaid return postage on ballots and ballot applications to help eliminate voting barriers and ensure a free and fair election in November. In an election where many citizens’ only practical option is to vote by mail, forcing Ohioans to pay postage in order to exercise this right is akin to a modern-day poll tax. Further, we demanded that LaRose work with the United States Postal Service to guarantee ballots that originate in Ohio are delivered on time, with visible postmarks, and do not succumb to delays and cost cutting measures—which could endanger timely delivery of vote by mail ballots. To read the full text of our letter, please visit Senator Sherrod Brown’s website.

Voting rights are just one kind of civil rights that are under threat, so I continue to call on Congress to once and for all recognize that Black Lives Matter and help recognize that systemic racism is a national crisis. Earlier this summer, I introduced a resolution, H.Res. 990, that would do exactly that by pushing for a truth and reconciliation process in response to the unlawful killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless more Black men and women who die simply because of the color of their skin. You can add your name in support of the resolution, too.

Taking that effort one step further, last week I chaired a House Financial Services Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee hearing on “Holding Financial Regulators Accountable for Diversity and Inclusion: Perspectives from the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion.” The Subcommittee hearing came just four days after President Donald Trump instructed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to begin the process of terminating certain workforce diversity training at all federal agencies. In the Administration’s announcement, OMB Director Russell Vought labeled such trainings “divisive, anti-American propaganda” and claimed that “these types of ‘trainings’ not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce.” In response, my fellow Democratic Subcommittee members and I asked hearing witnesses a series of related questions. To the inquiries of: (1) do you believe Systemic Racism exists; and (2) do you believe diversity training is important, each panelist answered in the affirmative.

Moreover, I challenged my colleagues late last month to recognize and join the movement for equal justice for ALL Americans during the 2020 March on Washington, from the exact location Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech 57 years prior. I implored them to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, to ‘Say Their Names,’ and to recognize that racism is a national crisis. You can watch an archived recording of my address to the nation on my YouTube

Enough is enough. Congress must act. The time is now. Republicans must end the political theater and come to the negotiation table to help make progress on the multiple crises facing America. We must be #InThisTogether.

For previous updates, please visit my Coronavirus Resource page, and do not hesitate to contact my District Office at (614) 220-0003 if you need assistance or have any questions or concerns.