Some members of our congressional delegation don’t want to spend money on the HEROES Act, which would help us all stay in our homes during COVID-19 and avert the coming eviction avalanche. But those same members gladly spent billions to protect corporations, police departments, and wealthy homeowners in previous budget and relief bills.
Budgets are moral documents. As coronavirus cases continue to break daily records, join us in demanding that the Senate prioritize the individuals and families impacted most by COVID-19. We’ve compiled a list of seven items that Congress spent money on instead of keeping us all in our homes during this crisis.
In 2018, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which ensures the 400 wealthiest billionaires pay a lower tax rate than the working class. Under the HEROES Act, Congress only allocated $100 billion dollars to support families struggling with rent during this COVID-19 nightmare.
2. $450 billion on large corporate bail-outs that fail to protect workers.
The White House and conservative Senators fought to include over $450 billion in the CARES Act to bailout large corporations without any stipulations to ensure that those funds are directed to working families rather than corporate executives and shareholders. That’s six times more than the $75 billion the HEROES Act proposes for homeowners to help us stay in our homes and stay safe.
3. $77 billion on the Mortgage Interest Deduction.
The Mortgage Interest Deduction is a huge tax break for wealthy homeowners. It’s the nation’s largest government housing program and households earning more than $100,000/yr receive almost 90% of the benefits. The HEROES Act will only spend $11.5 billion on funding which would prevent and respond to outbreaks among people experiencing homelessness who cannot social distance without individual housing units or hotel rooms.
4. $7 billion in donated military equipment to local law enforcement.
Congress has the ability to support $7 billion in donations to militarize the police, but it costs 70 times less to allocate only $100 million for tribal housing in the HEROES Act. Native Americans have remained a high-risk group during this pandemic and have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of coronavirus.
5. $400 million for local police.
This funding pays for 596 law enforcement agencies across the nation to hire 2,732 additional full-time officers. The HEROES Act will instead spend $14 million on advancing civil rights by ramping up fair housing education and enforcement.
Homes and livelihoods are on the line, yet Congress refuses to take action. Join us in demanding the Senate support the HEROES Act now.
Photo credit: Brooke Anderson / @MovementPhotographer