Yesterday, Senate Republicans unveiled a series of proposals that - taken together - fail to meet the needs of millions of Californians who are still reeling from the economic effects of COVID-19. Despite unprecedented unemployment and hardship, the GOP has opted to introduce a plan with:
- No increase in SNAP/CalFresh benefits to help people buy food for themselves and their families;
- A massive cut in unemployment benefits for laid-off workers even though job losses remain higher than at the height of the Great Recession;
- No extensions of WIC waivers to enable families to continue to enroll remotely and to access their benefits while minimizing exposure risk for themselves, their families, and clinic staff;
- No extension of Pandemic EBT to help families buy food when schools are implementing distance or hybrid models of learning and no expansion of the program to younger children who have been impacted by child care closures and public health orders to reduce class sizes;
- No financial relief for immigrant households. Similar to the CARES Act, the plan includes additional stimulus payments that continue to shut out many U.S. citizens and lawfully present children because at least one of their parents do not have a social security number.
- No increase in federal funds for Medicaid and insignificant flexible federal aid to meet California's $54.3 billion dollar deficit and to help prevent layoffs of public workers and cuts to child care, schools, and critical public services that Californians rely on.
The American people are looking for solutions, but they won't find them in the Senate's proposal. As it stands, the plan will not provide sufficient relief to the unprecedented number of Californians struggling to buy enough food.
Census data from late June shows a nearly 30% increase in
food insufficiency among California adults with children,
compared to pre-COVID measures. The hardship is widespread, but particularly prevalent among Black, Latino, and immigrant households.