Image by Caleb Fisher
Logo_DropShadow_Alpha-01.png

STRATEGY Breakdown

Updated 3.13.21

Jump to:

New Scripts

 

Target your call to your legislators with these call scripts.  You can also send this language as emails or shorten it into tweets. Feel free to adapt them to you!

For Democrat Legislators

For Republican Legislators

General Call Script

Spring 2021 Messaging

Demands

Targets

Talking Points

Relevant Fast Facts

Messaging overview

 

Now that the American Rescue Plan has passed, it is important to start pushing for additional necessary relief for unemployed workers in the next package. The provisions of the Rescue Plan were largely unchanged from Biden's first proposal so it's clear that It is important to get demands included early. Now is the time to target legislators (especially those in the Ways and Means and Finance Committees) and the Biden administration with demands for the next bill.

Read our statement on the American Rescue Plan and what it leaves out here.

 

Spring 2021 demands

        1. Retroactive relief for all affected workers. Our proposal for a tax credit is here.

2. PUA, PEUC, and FPUC programs extended until the crisis is over with automatic stabilizers.

3. Tax on UI/PUA cancelled and refunded for 2020 and 2021.

 

OTHER THINGS WE SUPPORT:

4. Rent cancellation.

5. Healthcare relief extended past the American Rescue Plan's expirations.

6. Direct aid through recurring cash payments.

For full talking points and more information on each demand, click here.

Script for:

Democrat Legislators

 
 

"Hello. My name is (your name) and I am a constituent from (your zip code/city), calling with ExtendPUA.org.  Thank you so much for taking my call. 

 

(We strongly encourage you to start with a sentence or two about your personal story. What your job was, what will happen to you without PUA or PEUC and what your situation is due to the $600 already expiring. How much do you make in UI? What are you losing/what will you lose?) 

 

Thank you so much for passing the American Rescue Plan. It is necessary and important work. Unfortunately, that plan still leaves massive holes for Americans who have been unemployed or underemployed throughout this crisis, especially those without children. I need the Senator (or Congressperson) to ensure our needs will be met in the next bill.

 

It should include:

  • PUA and PEUC extended with additional weeks until the crisis is over with automatic stabilizers;

  • tax cancellation for all UI and PUA payments for 2020 and 2021;

  • robust healthcare and rent relief;

  • and a refundable tax credit to all affected workers that compensates for the lack of retroactive FPUC from August-December.
     

Continued relief and reform is needed, but we also need compensation for the complete lack of government action for most of 2020. Unemployed Americans are still drowning in the debt incurred in this pandemic. Please support this further relief for those of us who suffered job loss through no fault of our own. It's imperative Democrats uphold the mandate given to them by voters.

Thank you for listening. I really appreciate you getting this message to the Senator (or Congressperson).

 

Script for:

Republican Legislators

Top Targets:

Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Todd Young (R-IN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC)

"Hello. My name is (your name) and I am a constituent from (your zip code/city) calling with ExtendPUA.org.  Thank you so much for taking my call. 

 

(We strongly encourage you to start with a sentence or two about your personal story. What your job was, what will happen to you without PUA or PEUC and what your situation is due to the $600 already expiring. How much do you make in UI? What are you losing/what will you lose?) 

 

I am extremely disappointed to see the Senator (or Congressperson) not support the American Rescue Plan. The provisions in that bill help me and I need to see my legislator support relief for constituents in this pandemic. Further relief is still necessary and the Senator (or Congressperson) must fight for it. We need:

  • PUA and PEUC extended with additional weeks until the crisis is over with automatic stabilizers;

  • tax cancellation for all UI and PUA payments for 2020 and 2021;

  • robust healthcare and rent relief;

  • and a refundable tax credit to all affected workers that compensates for the lack of retroactive FPUC from August-December.
     

Continued relief is needed, but we also need compensation for the complete lack of government action for most of 2020. Unemployed Americans are still drowning in the debt incurred in this pandemic. Please support this further relief for those of us who suffered job loss through no fault of our own.

 

Thank you for listening. I really appreciate you getting this message to the Senator (or Congressperson).

Key February Targets

Not sure who your rep is? Check here.

 

Finance Committee Members (Senate)

Ron Wyden, Chair(D - OR)

Debbie Stabenow(D - MI)

Maria Cantwell(D - WA)

Robert Menendez(D - NJ)

Thomas R. Carper(D - DE)

Benjamin L. Cardin(D - MD)

Sherrod Brown(D - OH)

Michael F. Bennet(D - CO)

Bob Casey(D - PA)

Mark R. Warner(D - VA)

Sheldon Whitehouse(D - RI)

Maggie Hassan(D - NH)

Catherine Cortez Masto(D - NV)

Elizabeth Warren(D - MA)

Ways and Means Committee (House)

Richard E. Neal, Chair (D-MA)

Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)

Mike Thompson (D-CA)

John B. Larson (D-CT)

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Ron Kind (D-WI)

Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)

Danny K. Davis (D-IL)

Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA)

Brian Higgins (D-NY)

Terri A. Sewell (D-AL)

Suzan DelBene (D-WA)

Judy Chu (D-CA)

Gwen Moore (D-WI)

Dan Kildee (D-MI)

Brendan Boyle (D-PA)

Don Beyer (D-VA)

Dwight Evans (D-PA)

Brad Schneider (D-IL) T

om Suozzi (D-NY)

Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)

Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)

Jimmy Gomez (D-CA)

Steven Horsford (D-NV)

Stacey E. Plaskett (D-VI)

 

Mike Crapo, Ranking member (R-ID)

Chuck Grassley(R - IA)

John Cornyn(R - TX)

John Thune(R - SD)

Richard Burr(R - NC)

Rob Portman(R - OH)

Patrick J. Toomey(R - PA)

Tim Scott(R - SC)

Bill Cassidy(R - LA)

James Lankford(R - OK)

Steve Daines(R - MT)

Todd Young(R - IN)

Ben Sasse(R - NE)

John Barrasso(R - WY)

Kevin Brady, Ranking Member (R-TX)

Devin Nunes (R-CA)

Vern Buchanan (R-FL)

Adrian Smith (R-NE)

Kenny Marchant (R-TX)

Tom Reed (R-NY)

Mike Kelly (R-PA)

George Holding (R-NC)

Jason Smith (R-MO)

Tom Rice (R-SC)

David Schweikert (R-AZ)

Jackie Walorski (R-IN)

Darin LaHood (R-IL)

Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)

Jodey Arrington (R-TX)

Drew Ferguson (R-GA)

Ron Estes (R-KS)

If your legislator is on either list, call every day and send them this PDF as well. Email us and we can connect you directly with their staff.

Talking points     

 

We need retroactive relief.

In our survey of 1,300 unemployed workers, we found that 44% are receiving less than ¼ of their previous income. (See Report)

  • By omitting retroactivity in continued unemployment assistance, Congress is placing the financial burden of their inaction on the American people and our families.  

  • The FPUC expired July 26th, leaving tens of millions of Americans surviving on just state UI or PUA payments for TWENTY THREE WEEKS. State UI and PUA are not, and were never designed to be, a livable wage in any state. UI is as little as $7/week. You can find your state’s average UI payment here.

  • The FPUC has been in every bill proposal, including Senator McConnell's own bill in the Fall; it has had bipartisan support at the level of at least $300 since its expiration in July. 

  • Millions of us are deep in debt because of our commitment to stopping the spread of the virus as per the government’s orders. We did our part, yet over 10 million people are behind on rent. It’s time for the government to do their part. Halved payments in 2021 will not back-pay 5+ months of rent and other accrued debts from 2020. 

  • Americans are in deep financial crises. The new Congress and Biden administration must fix the error of the lack of FPUC payments from August to December. If they don’t, both personal and overall economic recoveries will suffer for years.

 

Why Not Just Unemployed People?

85.8% of surveyed underemployed workers are earning less than half of their previous income. (See Report)

  • Direct aid has been needed throughout the pandemic. 76 million people in the US were unemployed and only about 24 million of those people received unemployment. These workers received NO assistance since the $1,200 check over 6 months ago.

  • Tens of millions of Americans have been severely underemployed throughout this crisis. These are our essential workers who are putting their lives at risk and other workers facing significant cuts to hours and pay. These people are not eligible for unemployment, and direct aid is necessary to keep them and their families in their homes and able to afford even basic necessities.

  • Some who have been unemployed have been forced back into the workforce in unsafe positions, settling for underemployment to close the gaps left by the lapse of FPUC and unlivable unemployment. 32% of our worker-respondents said they are currently underemployed. 85.8% of those people are earning less than half of their previous income. 53.9% of them are earning less than a quarter of their previous income. We need direct aid payments to these underemployed workers so they can pull their way out of the debt accrued over those 6 months while still paying for their current needs. Direct aid is needed in addition to extended and retroactive FPUC.

 

We need continued relief until the pandemic is over and the workforce has recovered.

  • The pandemic is not over. Cases are rising and hospitalizations are higher than they were when the CARES Act passed.

  • We have only recovered about half of the 22 millions jobs we lost since the crisis began. Moreover, the rate of job recovery has consistently slowed over the last months. In December it halted and actually started to move backwards.

  • Many face to face industries have no timeline for returning to work.

  • "Improved" unemployment rates don’t include millions of workers. More on this here

Relief must include healthcare assistance.

57% of respondents fear healthcare loss without continued FPUC and PUA. (See Report)

  • The second highest reported cost after rent and mortgages was healthcare. 57% of respondents fear healthcare loss without continued FPUC and PUA. Amid a continually escalating pandemic, in one of the richest nations on earth, workers should not be forced to weigh ending their healthcare coverage to cover other emergency living expenses.

 

Relief must include rent and mortgage protections.

75% of those surveyed (including the founders of ExtendPUA.org) are in need of rent or mortgage assistance. (See Report)

  • No one should lose their home during a global pandemic, and no landlord should be without the necessary income to remain financially stable for the properties they maintain. Additionally, expecting individuals to accumulate so much wealth post pandemic that they can make up for a year of $0 income is unreasonable.

 

Relief must include food assistance.

1 in 4 Americans are now food insecure. (See Report)

  • Food banks across the country are witnessing record breaking lines. Many food assistance programs are covered by "state and local government" funding, which is why we have been so adamant that a comprehensive relief bill must include this line item. Since this critical element has inexplicably become a polarizing topic thanks to a few rogue tweets, we are being as clear as we can in demanding that no one should go hungry during a global pandemic.

Relief must include direct cash payments

85.8% of underemployed workers are earning less than 50% of their previous income. (See Report)

  • Following our call for retroactivity for those who are underemployed or unemployed and not receiving relief... we also need continued relief for these people. We need cash payments to those who are not eligible for unemployment - including those who are underemployed, essential workers who have gone without hazard pay, and anyone excluded from unemployment altogether. Everyone in America should receive assistance.

 

at-a-glance

FAST FACTS messaging for Spring 2021

  1. While families say large cash influxes from the American Rescue Plan, child less workers who have been unemployed for a year now did not have their needs met.

  2. 26 million people were relying on the FPUC $600 to make UI and PUA into a livable wage. Legislator inaction ripped that money away at the end of July and ever since then, Americans have been relying on solely base UI or PUA, which is as low as $7/week. In Oklahoma the average is $44/week. You can find your state’s average UI payment here. FPUC payments MUST be retroactive.

  3. 1 in 4 Americans are either unemployed or making poverty wages.

  4. There are 10 million fewer jobs than pre-pandemic.

  5. 12 million American have lost health insurance during the pandemic.

  6. 40 million Americans are at risk of eviction.

  7. 50 million Americans don’t have enough food to eat, and are food insecure.

  8. 8 million more Americans were shoved into poverty in this pandemic, totaling 55 million Americans in poverty. 

  9. The jobs reports increasingly show that recovery is slowing and expert economists agree that robust relief is necessary and would help, not hurt, the economy. Here's a breakdown of January's report.

  10. Unemployment rates don’t include millions of workers. They leave out people forced out of the labor force completely, those not counted because they are “temporarily unemployed”, those who are not actively searching for work, and those who have expired benefits already. The October 6% unemployment rate is actually 11% when all people are taken into account. And that doesn’t include any of the incredibly underemployed workers, who found jobs and still can’t meet their basic needs. More on this here