Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies: Debating the Next Stimulus: July 20 COVID-19 Policy & Black Communities Roundup

For our full July 20 roundup on COVID-19 Policy & Black communities, click here.

The full July 20 roundup features details on the following and more:

With the expanded $600 per week federal unemployment benefit set to expire a week from Thursday, Congress returned to Washington today to continue debating over the next stimulus.

  • In May, House Democrats passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which extended the federal $600 per week unemployment benefit through January 2021. The bill also provided additional resources for state and local governments, housing, protecting essential workers, testing and contact tracing, Community Development Financial Institutions, elections, the U.S. Postal Service, and HBCUs.   
  • U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is poised to release a GOP stimulus bill that will likely include a payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits, increased funding for fall school reopenings, and rules blocking workers who contract COVID-19 from suing employers.
  • Senate Democrats introduced a proposal calling for $350 billion in coronavirus relief for communities of color disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, including funds for child care, job training, community health services, and infrastructure.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced a new bill to ban evictions and foreclosures for a year, protect tenant access to utility services, and prevent negative credit reporting.
  • Another 1.3 million people filed for unemployment for the week ending July 11, bringing the total number of initial claims filed during the COVID-19 crisis to 51 million since the peak in late March. 
  • A National Community Reinvestment Coalition study found that White applicants were treated more favorably than Black applicantswith slightly better qualifications when applying for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan.      
  • National Geographic reports that “[m]ore than half of Black-owned businesses may not survive COVID-19.” 
  • Joint Center Board Members Paul Thornell and Robert Raben called for more diversity on the five-person Congressional Oversight Commission, which was established to provide oversight of the $500 billion CARES Act. 
  • Memories of the Tuskegee experiment may drive some Black skepticism of a coronavirus vaccine. A Washington Post poll found that 32% of Black adults said they would definitely get a coronavirus vaccine, compared to 45% of White and Latino adults.

Click here for our July 20 roundup on COVID-19 Policy and Black communities—including activism and solutions by the African American Policy Forum, BeyGOOD, Black Futures Lab, Black Voters Matter Fund, Color of Change, NAACP, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Urban Institute, several Members of Congress, and others.