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350.org Demands a People's Bailout from Congress

New York, NY - Congressional negotiators signaled Tuesday morning that they are hours away from a bipartisan agreement on a nearly $2 trillion emergency stimulus package to confront the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic after five days of chaotic talks. The sudden shift on Capitol Hill — with both sides declaring they have moved beyond partisan politics — comes after a breakdown in talks on Monday. The Senate stimulus package was stalled twice, and on Monday night, House Democrats unveiled their own counter stimulus package to address the economic needs that has emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate stimulus prioritized bailouts for corporations, while the House bill aimed to halt corporations from using taxpayer money and stop bailouts of the oil industry. 

Responding to new developments, 350.org North America Director Tamara Toles O’Laughlin made the following statement: 

“This pandemic has unveiled the interdependent crises of classism and racism, economic decline and climate destruction. COVID -19 is magnifying  the ills of normalizing people over profits. 350.org supports an economy-wide stimulus that prioritizes people and planet. We support a package focused on health and economic relief for all people, with special protections for the chronically underserved, communities, and workers. It’s time for a People’s Bailout. 

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“We need a bill that protects workers in the informal economy, halts corporate giveaways, and safeguards all people. We will be watching Congress closely today and will continue to fight tooth and nail against any bailouts, subsidies, or tax loopholes for fossil fuel polluters and other corporations.

“Congress has the opportunity to ensure both immediate relief and long-term recovery that saves lives. It’s time for real leadership, and to chart a bold path forward to a livable future for all. We demand a stimulus package that helps boost the creation of millions of  jobs, sustains families, responds to systemic inequity, and directly invests in Black, Indigenous, and communities of color facing economic insecurity. The climate crisis will not wait for squabbles to cease between partisans or agendas that compound threats to our economy and health. Now is the time to act boldly, focused on people and the planet. We must make a downpayment on a regenerative economy while preventing future crises.” 

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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

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