Nourish California commends members of the House and Senate for taking a key step to help pave the way for additional COVID relief. Last Friday, both houses passed a budget resolution that will enable congress to quickly advance legislation desperately needed to respond to the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. The budget resolution sets forth targets for congressional committees who are now tasked with proposing legislation and spending within those targets. The legislation drafted by the committees is expected to largely reflect President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a plan that would help mitigate the scope and scale of harm from COVID-19 through investments in SNAP, WIC, economic relief for families, and funding for schools and child care.
Committee leaders have already begun work on the specifics of the relief package. Committee meetings and markups are scheduled throughout the week, including within the following: the Committee on Agriculture, which has oversight of spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/CalFresh); the Committee on Education and Labor, which has oversight on spending for child nutrition programs; and the Committee On Ways And Means, which has jurisdiction over spending related to tax changes and stimulus payments.
Nourish California stands ready to work with our partners and the California congressional delegation to help ensure swift passage of a relief package. While Congress passed some relief last year, much more needs to be done to address the magnitude of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, a crisis bigger than any other we’ve seen in our lifetimes. The unemployment rate is still more than double what it was before the pandemic and in mid-December more than one in four California adults struggled with household food insecurity. Due to historic and ongoing racial discrimination, Black and Latinx families have been hit particularly hard. Californians need additional help. It is critical the House and Senate pass comprehensive COVID relief before expanded unemployment benefits lapse in mid-March.