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Progressive groups call on Pelosi, Schumer to prioritize women in COVID-19 relief package

Progressive groups call on Pelosi, Schumer to prioritize women in COVID-19 relief package
© Greg Nash

More than 80 progressive groups on Thursday urged Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner Biden brings back bipartisan meetings at the White House McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (D-N.Y.) to prioritize the needs of women during negotiations for the COVID-19 relief package, including raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Ultraviolet, Public Citizen, and the Women’s March, said that creating a $15 minimum wage and eliminating “subminimum wages” for tipped workers would be a start toward ensuring economic equality through wage justice.

“The simple truth is that women, especially Black women, Latina women, Asian American and Pacific Islander women, and Indigenous women, have suffered the worst impacts of the pandemic, and they need to be lifted up in the solutions and relief you draft and ultimately pass in Congress,” they wrote. “If we are to truly build back better, we must build an economy that works for women.” 

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The groups also called for $40 billion in funds for the child care industry in the package, which would follow the $10 billion grant program created in the December COVID-19 package. Additionally, they called for emergency paid leave provisions and $1,400 stimulus checks for individuals.

“There is no time to waste; you must enact bold, inclusive relief. There can be no compromises or watering down when our lives and health are on the line,” they wrote. 

Voto Latino, Paid Leave for All Action, Feminist Majority, Center for American Progress Fund and the Coalition of Labor Union Women also signed onto the letter.

Congressional Democrats are working to pass a coronavirus relief package that mirrors President BidenJoe BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits MORE’s initial $1.9 trillion plan, which included raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. But, Biden has since indicated that the provision may not make it in the final passage although Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Senate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill NFL's Justin Jackson praises Sanders for opposing Biden's USDA nominee MORE (I-Vt.) has vowed to include it. 

Democrats have moved forward with budget reconciliation, which means they can pass a coronavirus relief package without GOP support.