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Progressives call on Biden to 'go big' on COVID-19 relief with Democratic majority

Progressives call on Biden to 'go big' on COVID-19 relief with Democratic majority
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More than 100 progressive groups, labor organizations and advocacy groups are calling on President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration Sidney Powell withdraws 'kraken' lawsuit in Georgia MORE to use the soon-to-be Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress to move quickly on a major coronavirus relief bill.

In a release accompanying the letter, the groups said they want Biden "to use Democratic control of Congress to go big on urgent economic relief."

The letter from progressives on Friday comes just days after Democratic candidates in Georgia's two Senate runoff elections were projected to win their races, giving Democrats control of the upper chamber when Biden is sworn in on Inauguration Day.

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It also comes on the same day the Labor Department said U.S. employers cut 140,000 jobs in December, the first month of payroll losses since April.

The progressive groups said state and local governments have not received aid since the CARES Act in late March and that the COVID-19 package passed in December “does not go anywhere near far enough” what the country needs right now and going forward.

The groups called for an automatic $600 a week in supplemental unemployment insurance, along with other temporary programs, until the economy recovers.

They also said a relief package should include recurring stimulus checks that include immigrant families and adult dependents. The letter did not specify the amount for direct payments but groups have proposed anywhere from quarterly checks of $1,200 to monthly payments of $2,000.

“A one-time $600 check and eleven weeks of unemployment benefits won’t last families and small businesses long or make up for the months without support as families waited for the deal to be struck,” the letter read. “And particularly for Black and Brown families that have been hit hardest by the virus and the recession, it is only a down payment on the shovel to start digging them out of the hole.”

The letter was signed by groups like the American Federation of Teachers, Center for American Progress, Greenpeace, Indivisible, MoveOn, National Domestic Workers Alliance, People’s Action, SEIU, Sunrise Movement, Working Families Party and the Economic Security Project.