Far-left members of the “Squad” — Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — are releasing a list of demands on Monday that they believe need to be in the next coronavirus relief package, including vote-by-mail and cash payments to illegal immigrants.
Omar announced on Sunday that far-left members of the “Squad,” as well as Progressive Caucus cochairs Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), will introduce a series of demands for the next coronavirus relief package.
“The next relief package must #PutPeopleFirst,” Omar’s announcement reads, previewing a list of their demands. While their demands include some of the features of the CARES Act, such as cash relief payments, the progressive lawmakers take it a step further and call for all aid in every relief program to be available to everyone “regardless of tax or immigration status, age, or disability status.”
The CARES Act barred those without Social Security numbers from receiving the cash relief payment — something both Ocasio-Cortez and Omar took issue with.
The progressives are also calling for full health coverage for all coronavirus patients, protections for frontline workers, increased food aid, and eviction protections. Additionally, they are calling on the next relief bill to “enact a vote-by-mail requirement for 2020 while maintaining access to in-person voting”:
✅ Keep people on payrolls
✅ Provide financial relief.
✅ Protect public health
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 19, 2020
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) April 19, 2020
1️⃣ Keep people on payrolls
2️⃣ Provide financial relief
3️⃣ Protect public health
4️⃣ Defend elections
— Working Families Party 🐺 (@WorkingFamilies) April 19, 2020
Democrats across the board, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and former President Barack Obama, have been using the pandemic to push vote-by-mail for the November elections.
While the CARES Act provided $400 million in election grants, Democrats say it is not sufficient in addressing their concerns. Warren took her calls even further than her counterparts, demanding $4 billion “to ensure that states have the resources they need to successfully administer elections” but proposing that lawmakers condition the funding by requiring states to adopt specific measures “that will protect voters and reduce barriers to voting.” She detailed a few proposals in a Medium post this month, including a ban on cleaning the voter rolls and allowing eligible individuals “to vote with a sworn statement of identity instead of a voter ID.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), however, warned Democrats against using coronavirus relief measures to pursue party agenda items.
“Let’s get our economy back on feet, and then we can debate about elections,” he said this month. “Do not use this for political gains. That is wrong.”