WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement ahead of the votes in Congress on a temporary government spending bill:
“Members of Congress will soon go home to their families. Before they do, they must take action to protect the lives of all families in America by providing disaster aid to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, restoring access to health care for millions of low- and middle-income children, and protecting Dreamers. It would be cruel for lawmakers to fail to act before the holiday season. If the Republican leadership can rush through tax legislation to benefit millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations, surely they can take action for these vulnerable families now.
Congress must fix the crisis created by President Trump three months ago that threatens hundreds of thousands of Dreamers and their families. It is estimated that every day, 122 Dreamers lose their DACA status while they wait for Congress. These families will be ripped apart because of Congress’ failure to act. Lawmakers must also fully fund the disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where too many Americans are still without access to water or power. Our government has an obligation to provide for Americans hurt by natural disasters, no matter where in the nation they live. Finally, Congress must fully reauthorize a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers 9 million children. This program helps ensure those children are able to get the medical care they need, and some states have already begun to cut children’s health programs due to the lapse in CHIP funding.
The Republican leadership must fight for the interests of our families now. They must take action on these urgent matters – either in the continuing resolution or independently. If these crises are not addressed now, members of Congress must spur action by voting against the continuing resolution.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.