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50+ Members Urge Congressional Leadership To INCLUDE ESSENTIAL WORKERS BILL OF RIGHTS IN NEXT RELIEF PACKAGE

April 28, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today joined Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and over 50 additional members in proposing an Essential Workers Bill of Rights to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The lawmakers urge Congressional leadership to support frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic by prioritizing these basic protections in the next relief package.

Essential workers are still at work in high-risk conditions without appropriate equipment, safety standards, or job protections. From the doctors, nurses, home care workers and other healthcare workers, to the grocery store and drug store employees, domestic workers, food service workers, federal, state, and municipal employees, janitorial staff, farm workers, delivery drivers, warehouse workers, transportation workers, and child care workers, these Americans are on the frontlines of this pandemic.

"Every day this crisis continues, more and more essential workers risk their lives on the front lines so we can get urgently needed resources and services," said Rep. Khanna. "That work, undervalued for far too long, is finally being recognized for what it really is. The grocery clerk that packs our groceries behind a plastic shield, the bus driver sanitizing seats between shifts, and the security guard on watch from a distance: these heroic workers are keeping this country afloat. They deserve every benefit and protection we can give them, starting with those outlined in our Essential Workers Bill of Rights."

"Frontline workers -- including health care workers, transit workers, farm workers, grocery workers, domestic workers, and delivery workers -- are risking their lives to keep America running. Congress has a responsibility to protect them and their families," said Sen. Warren. "Essential workers in all fields lack the basic safety equipment and guarantees they need, and many essential workers are low-wage workers who were underpaid with minimal job protections even before this crisis hit. The next relief package needs to put these workers front and center -- and include our Essential Workers Bill of Rights."

"The next coronavirus relief package to pass Congress must include an Essential Workers Bill of Rights containing a comprehensive set of policies to protect frontline workers during this public health emergency," wrote the Members in their letter to Congressional leadership.

Cosigners in the Senate: Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA).

Cosigners in the House: Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Joaquin Castro (D- TX), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (D-IL), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Joseph P. Kennedy, III (D-MA), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Steven Horsford (D-NV), André Carson (D-IN), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Mark Takano (D-CA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Judy Chu (D-CA), Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Danny K. Davis (D- IL), Filemon Vela (D-TX), and Ted Lieu (D-CA).

The full text of the letter is available here.

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