The $900 billion stimulus package passed by Congress Monday night will provide some urgently needed relief to those who have been hurt the most by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s only a down payment, as Joe Biden called it.  There is so much more that needs to be done to help those who have been hurt the most. 

Only ten billion dollars, for example, was allocated to childcare, far less than the $50-$100 billion advocates estimate is necessary to ensure a gender-equitable recovery.  Here’s a good report on this topic from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. 

NOW has been working for years to pass reforms that address the systemic inequality of our economy, where women pay more, earn less and have fewer options to achieve economic security. The gender, politics and policy newsroom The 19th reported on some more gaps in the stimulus package, highlighting some of the priorities for the next round of Congressional action.  

NOW will be there every step of the way as the Biden-Harris administration works with the new Congress to fill in the missing pieces from this legislation.  It’s essential that the next round include help for state and local governments that are on the brink of raising taxes, firing public-sector workers and cutting spending on critical government programs and services such as public transportation and schools. 

Here’s a letter that Speaker Nancy Pelosi circulated to House Democrats about what the new Congress must do to provide meaningful COVID relief.  NOW will be working with our allies in Congress to build support for this vital need, while also prioritizing a feminist agenda. 

One provision in the just-passed stimulus bill was particularly welcome—a go-ahead to create two new museums, the National Museum of the American Latino and Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.  NOW has been working for years to establish a Smithsonian museum that recognizes women’s history, and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, invited us to watch the House vote this past February. 

NOW—with your help–will continue to make women’s history during this time of tremendous change and challenge.  We’ve got a lot to look forward to in the new year—and a lot of work to do.