Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Progressive advocacy groups and unions plan to hold a nationwide day of action targeting Republican senators on July 8, 2020. (Image: MoveOn.org)

'They Are Failing': Nationwide Day of Action to Target GOP Senators for Going on Vacation as Pandemic Surges

"Millions of workers—essential and unemployed—do not have the luxury of a vacation and our elected officials are not entitled to take one during this crisis."

Jake Johnson

A coalition of dozens of progressive advocacy groups and labor unions is planning a nationwide day of action in battleground states Wednesday targeting Republican senators for going on a two-week vacation as Covid-19 infections surge and millions of people teeter on the brink of financial ruin.

In Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Iowa, and other states, activists will hold socially distant rallies and deliver "failing" report cards to Republican senators reminding them that "they are responsible for the massive amount of suffering that people are experiencing across the country," the coalition said in a press release Monday.

"Communities across the country are preparing to welcome the senators home with a clear message that they are failing." 
—Labor Network for Sustainability

The Service Employees International Union, the American Postal Workers Union, Greenpeace USA, and other groups are calling on the Republican-controlled Senate to take up and pass the HEROES Act, a sweeping stimulus package the House of Representatives approved on May 15.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is set to face Democratic nominee Amy McGrath for his seat in November, has refused to allow a floor vote on the Democratic legislation.

While many progressives consider the HEROES Act insufficient, the bill would extend the $600-per-week boost in unemployment benefits, provide hazard pay for frontline workers, and shore up the finances of the U.S. Postal Service.

"The inaction of the senators is inexcusable," said the Labor Network for Sustainability. "Communities across the country are preparing to welcome the senators home with a clear message that they are failing. Teachers, students, and parents are preparing report cards to deliver to their senators in many states."

"Millions of workers—essential and unemployed—do not have the luxury of a vacation and our elected officials are not entitled to take one during this crisis," the group added. "We will not allow them to ignore us!"

The Republican-controlled Senate adjourned for July 4 recess last Thursday without passing or advancing coronavirus relief legislation despite the dire need for additional relief for frontline workers, the unemployed, and state and local governments. The New York Times reported Saturday that "nearly 28 million households are at risk of being turned out onto the streets because of job losses tied to the pandemic."

Senators are not expected to return to Washington, D.C. until July 20, by which point they will have just three weeks to negotiate and pass legislation before leaving for another scheduled recess on August 10.

"Over 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with Covid-19 every day, thousands are hospitalized, and states are being forced to halt their re-openings to save lives," the coalition said. "Americans are protesting on behalf of Black lives in the streets. Meanwhile, the Senate has left to go on a vacation after refusing to pass the HEROES Act, abdicating its responsibility to do something to protect Americans."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

"No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars," anti-war campaigners from over a dozen nations write in a letter decrying the new AUKUS agreement. "Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate."

Brett Wilkins ·


PG&E Charged With 11 Felony Counts—Including Manslaughter—Over 2020 Zogg Fire

"PG&E has a history with a repeated pattern of causing wildfires that is not getting better," said Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett. "It's only getting worse."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Hold My Pearls': Debbie Dingell Lets Marjorie Taylor Green Have It Over Abortion Rights

The Michigan Democrat engaged in a verbal altercation with the far-right Republican lawmaker from Georgia on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Jon Queally ·


Dems Who Opposed Pentagon Cuts Received Nearly 4x More Donations From Weapons Makers

The latest passage of the NDAA "is particularly strong evidence that Pentagon contractors' interests easily take precedence over national security and the public interest for too many members of Congress," said one critic.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo