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tv   Washington Journal Olivia Golden  CSPAN  May 19, 2020 2:10pm-2:40pm EDT

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c-span's newsletter word for word, providing new updates daily for the coronavirus pandemic response from state governors, the white house task force briefings, and important updates from congress. sign up today. it is easy. connect enter your email in the word for word sign-up box. "washington journal" continues. the executive director for law and social policy -- 1993-2001 -- what are you ofing the impact is coronavirus on low income americans in a nutshell. what has it been? guest: it is great to be here. thank you for having me. in a nutshell, the impact has been devastation. the 90,000 people
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who have died and the illness, but on the economic side, we know at this point about 15% of americans are unemployed. think that is an underestimate. [no audio] inlower household income extremely large numbers. you know it has had children particularly because the net -- the economic destruction is with their parents are at almost one in five of parents with a child under 12 have not had enough to eat because they have not been able to make the food last. that is worse even then in the great recession. we are seeing real tragedy in people's lives. a pew research poll found, they or someone in their household have lost a job or
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taken a pay cut. when you break it down by income, 53% of lower income people answered yes to that question. 53%. what does that mean? means this is very present in the lives of people watching and their communities. the person who works in the grocery store, works in retail, caring for the elderly, we looked at those unemployment numbers send our estimate is about one third of childcare workers have been laid off. anse are people doing incredibly important for the country. there are mostly women of color not being paid very much and now their lives have additional uncertainty. people who are hungry and can't pay rent. and it meets the real urgency for the next action by congress to help.
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congress has taken action and that has been important, but their last steps were before we really saw the extent and the scale of the devastation and now we need to catch up. host: the pew research folks also found when they asked a question about that first round of legislation, how did you atnd, or will you spent stimulus check on essential needs? 71% of lower income people said they will use that check to pay bills or cover essential expenses. what does that say to you? guest: it says that because this has been going on a wildland numbers are not getting better, we need a next installment. to be fair, that first installment included the initial $1200 checks that included some help for nutrition or health care.
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all of the pieces are extremely important, but they are not a fan do not last enough and tens of millions have been left out. what it says to me is that being able to pay a piece of rent for one month, but not feed your kids, not get rid the next month, not get health care, that is not enough. we need a next installment to be able to address the chatterjee -- the tragedy there. host: what should congress do? more direct payments? the build a house put together has important pieces that include more direct payments. major investments on food and nutrition. i told you about those child hunger numbers and that is frightened. we are too rich a country for
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people to be unable to feed their kids. have seene watching or been in those enormous line of cars waiting at food banks. we need to enable people to get the food they need. we needto make sure -- to ensure public health. if anybody who is sick can get treatment they need. fixesuse proposal also some big holes in the previous bill, including some that were created by the administration in administering legislation. workers to stay home when they are sick, that is really important in a public health crisis. congress had put some emergency authority into the first bill and the department of labor left out tens of millions of workers. help, supportt for nutrition and one other
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piece i want to highlight, help for state budgets. many states with their fiscal if they do not, get help they are going to be laying off a large number of people. host: without help for their state budgets, what could be people? for low income how could they see the ramifications of that? guest: i think there are different ways. most offication is that what state spend their money on his education and health care. ,ou can see cuts in clinics , whetherlaid off community colleges open in the fall, childcare centers. the other big pieces so many people will be laid off if states have to make a slashing cuts to their budget.
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that effects both the person themselves, the teacher, but also has another round of effects on a community. somebody whose job depends on services, to provide they are in turn more likely to have their hours cut further were to be laid off if other people in the community don't have money in their pockets. , many peopleng watching this have been in those time or on hold for a long trying to get unemployment insurance. workers and computer systems that need to be delivered that out. central to helping all of us, people with low incomes and our whole community make our way out of this. host: we are taking questions
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and comments on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on low-wage workers. eastern central part of the country, (202) 748-8000. mountain or pacific, (202) 748-8001. george in madison, wisconsin. you are up first. caller: yes. host: hi george. caller: hello. believe this is going to devastate our economical peoples in poverty in the first place, he will be the biggest threat to the whole world if he is not removed from office. he is there -- and he should pull plate an actor. about theare talking unemployment benefits, did the
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expanded unemployment benefits help low-wage workers? was that i could call by congress? guest: it was a good call. what is important is to continue the help. this is not about to be over quickly. i heard earlier the federal reserve chair said he thinks unemployment will be elevated at the end of 2021. we need to make sure we are relieving the immediate pain, making sure people can eat and pay rent. we need to be shoring up jobs did making sure people are able to work. to get some leave perhaps if they are sick. future to invest in the coming out of this better. continuing some of the kinds of help that congress started but did not do at a big
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enough scale. host: richard in louisville, kentucky. caller: yes. has package that pelosi -- $3own to the senate trillion. of that $3 trillion, how much of it is actually going to the working men and women in this country? actually goingis to the people who need this money? the president has been onboard from day one of helping the workers. money should not be sent to the kennedy center. money should not be sent to the abortion clinics. this money should go to the men and women of this country. the people oftil this country realize what the
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democrats are doing, it is a disgrace. get the money to the people. host: can you answer that? how much of this would go to the people? large share goes to individual people. a second large share go to states who will in turn give it to individuals. ,he highlight a few examples the unemployment insurance benefits, expanding those. nutrition, a big piece of this package is making sure that people can eat, increasing the amount of nutrition assistance and making sure it gets -- making sure it can get out the door. health care, another piece. paid leave and paid sick days, --ing sure -- pride providing support from the federal government so that employers are able to provide paid leave for those who are ill
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or caring for someone ill. that is true for all workers. tens of millions were left out. and then cash stimulus payments. making sure people who were left out in the first bill are in that, doing a second installment in providing other key relief through the tax system. a large share of the dollars are meant to go to working people, young workers, children. and as i said, a second piece to not safely -- help people flash their own money for childhood in schools and community college. make sure they do not have to lay off people. an exactthink there is number, but that is a large share. host: sabrina from north carolina. caller: good morning.
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the stimulus check is designed to help with emergency funds. i want to know why the child support system has been allowed to take these payments from these people? alreadythe low income have most of their income go to the child support system. i think it is unacceptable for them to be allowed to have access to emergency funds. not just health care, but back taxes and that stuff. owed acause you have debt before the academic, you should not be able to have money to some stain you through it. that is a good issue. i would suggest you look at the website of my organization we have a piece on that issue
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and dollars should go to people in this moment. sure if thember for congressional package the house has put together solves that problem and whether -- and number of states have solved it, but it is right to highlight that issue. host: ron in west chesterfield new hampshire. caller: can you hear me? i would like to make a quick comment before i mention what i would like to say about this. a gentleman called a while ago saying the democrats were a disgrace. donald trump decided he was going to go up there to drain the swamp. he has been firing any watchdog to help with oversight. he is the swamp. might be for his the cdc. they have been behind the curve every step.
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their guidance has conflicted with osha guidance to keep workers safe on the job. they were behind on everything. at oneple could gather time in one place, when they knew a pandemic was here in new york and california were already inundated. there were spots of it kicking up in other places, yet ron desantis of florida, his excuse for allowing spring break to continue was -- i was just following cdc guidance. host: to have any thoughts on the cdc's role in how it has impacted low-wage workers? guest: i am not a public health expert. i have respect for experts. what i would draw on from that comment is that going forward, we have to vote -- we have to
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both solve the health crisis and the economic crisis and we have to be able to do both at the same time. that means, and i think the caller said, we have to make sure that workers can be safe without losing the ability to put food on the table. that is another important step. i gave the example of paid leave, which say right now most -- many people with high-paying jobs to have some access to paid leave. you can be sick without losing income. coming into this is a very large share of workers with low wages to just get by where would lose their income if they got sick. congress, for the first time in one of the early responses past a national emergency paid family leave with some federal dollars so employers could afford to do it.
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laborhe department of drove a hole through the middle of it and left out tens of millions of people. one of the things we have to do is make sure -- i think the caller referenced someone in a meatpacking plant that doesn't ac, or somebody cleaning a hospital. what we need to make sure is that that person both can protect themselves and if they have to be out because they are real, they are not forced to go to work and spread the illness and make a terrible choice that should have to make between their own and their families work and income. i think there are lessons for the future in the public expertise. mary in oklahoma. go ahead. caller: do you mean people who peopleft out, it will be
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who came to this country breaking the law to get here, to get checks? guest: let me tell you who is left out of the legislation. workers ofiece is all backgrounds in jobs with low wages. there were a huge number of exceptions. those are all kinds of people who worked in jobs with low wages. -- and did not have protection. that is a large group. second group is children. millions of children. almost all of them u.s. citizens who live in families where the breadwinner is paying their taxes, working and paying taxes.
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they have lots of different immigration statuses. somebody who got protected status on an emergency basis because of the emergency in the country they came from. it could be a dreamer, someone who came in as a child. think the key thing i would highlight is the people who are left out our people whose safety , health and security is crucial to you and me. it is not just from my perspective wrong, it is children who are hungry because their parents do not have a specialty trading number. it is dangerous for all of us, the people providing the food that we all depend on my working in a poultry or meat plant. the people who work in health care, doctors and nurses that people are carrying and
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supporting. crucial roleshese are not able to take care of their own health, their kids and to be economically mature, we will not get out of this as a country. we all depend on each other. ithink the pandemic has made who ishat's river it is putting on their protective equipment and going innocent nurse. dreamerthat person is a who came here as a child, and this is their country. with her that person has been here for 10 generations, does not matter. we all depend on that person to be able to provide here. we are not able to get out of this unless they are healthy and safe. host: what is happening with the food stamp program? guest: food stamps, now called snap. importantncredibly
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support for people all the time, but in a crisis more so. what we have seen this big increases in family need for your snap. -- food prices are going up in families are desperate. in addition, we have almost one in five families with young kids reports that those kids are not getting enough to eat. this is a rich country. that has not happened for decades at that level including the 2008 recession. people do everything they can to keep their fit -- keep their not having food pared
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one thing that is different is the scale of the devastation. people need more and better benefits. thesecond thing is that schools and childcare and head starts closed. children to use those to get meals are not getting meals. there are solutions there from the federal government and congress put in that are not reaching anyone. because the administration has been demonizing and threatening immigrant families, families who themselves are completely eligible are afraid to get some of the help. infix that, improvements snap and improvements in some of the surrounding nutrition programs and getting cash out the door to those citizens so people can afford to pay for food. host: beth in montana, good morning. -- i was was calling
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, i have-paying earner been working through all of this but the prices of meat and everything has been going up. wages have not been going up. what are they going to do to help somebody in that situation? great question. thank you for sharing. you're right. of food is going up, and people's wages often are not. would highlight that the package the house of representatives passed and that the senate is saying, no hurry, we can wait includes an increase in the level of nutrition assistance. the next installment of the supplemental dollars, the
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stimulus checks we talked about. both of which would help. thank you for the work you are doing. host: james in albuquerque, new mexico. caller: hello. thank you for taking my call. the -- fixese of we can put into places to have 50% labor representation on all corporate boards of directors. care, weversal health should have universal health care. there shouldn't be anybody having to go broke because of medical bills. right now, food is getting short too. with metal co., the first thing with health is proper nutrition. we are throwing away 40% of the food we produce. now we are getting food shortages. maybe we should have another victory program and make a
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universal food program like universal health. thank you very much. i think you have some great ideas there. i want to underline one thing you said that is powerful, all of these pieces are related. workers, union representation, utility for workers to have say in their work, nutrition, eating right, begin to afford to eat right, and health care. i would add some others. theink childcare and ability for young people to go to college. all of those peoples are closely related and how people are doing. reason theref the is not one single magic solution to get us out of this crisis. we need to focus on several basics at once.
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not an impossible number, but we have to -- i think your three abilities tokers have control of their jobs, nutrition and health care is a good place to start. host: let's go to kathleen in massachusetts. do to helpt can we people that can help your agency -- i have a comment. what can we do -- i am watching you here, what can we do to help advocate for the low-wage workers? this is my comment. a lot of that depends upon your zip code. i'm very fortunate that the owner of the patriots, friends of donald trump, got a jet, went
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to china, and we benefited all our hospitals. that is comment number one. comment number 2 -- i know i am going to run out of time -- i wish the president would go to all the millionaires, billionaires got those tax cuts when he passed that tax thing, ask them to contribute -- we have people that are hungry. -- i mean, it just boggles -- i live in a very privileged area. there are a lot of people that are proactive. i believe there are people that are philanthropic that are doing their share. there are people that are like that. sometimes they do not brag about what they are doing. now donald trump is wealthy. i am not saying he should donate his wealth, but he could set an example and call out to -- you
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know, i am not going to use -- you know, he has a big platform. we all need to step up to the plate. we can see everyday all these people. ok, back to my question. besides -- we dollars,zilion obviously -- what can the people do, like at my local church, they are very into helping communities that do not have it. host: we are running out of time. olivia golden, what can communities do? guest: i think that is a great question. first, which it sounds as though you are already doing, is inform yourself as a community and speak out. i gave our website. there are a number of others. there are some great organizations in massachusetts and nationally. i think your church is a great
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organization to be able to speak to people in massachusetts, members of congress, your governor, and to say what has to happen publicly. second, you can give directly and contribute to funds, particularly for people left out of the federal legislation. for example, immigrant communities or workers who are not benefiting from some of the other solutions. i think speaking out nationally and supporting organizations that work nationally. we are an example. and i do not just mean financial support, i mean getting involved, signing up to get alerts, bringing other people and other networks together. but i think your instinct that we really have to be in this together -- that is exactly right. that is the way we will get out of this. host: @


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