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STRATEGY Breakdown
Updated 7.21.21

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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

Summer 2021 Messaging

Demands

Targets

Talking Points - Archive

Relevant Fast Facts - Archive

Messaging overview

 

All federal unemployment programs are set to end September 6th Senate Democrats are writing the budget rules for the next large spending package that will pass through reconciliation in October (subject to change). We must get our demands into the framework for this package. Millions of workers are still not able to secure suitable employment either due to child care concerns, health concerns, or a lack of suitable work. With the Delta variant surging throughout the country, now is not the time to abandon the unemployed.

Additionally, 26 states that have ended their participation in federal unemployment programs early. This has destroyed Americans lives and has not provided any benefit to that states economy or workforce. It is cruelty, plain and simple. Every legislator should be speaking out against it and action should be taken by the Biden administration/DOL.

 

SUMMER 2021 demands

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

2. All federal UI programs reinstated in all states.

3. Tax on UI/PUA cancelled and refunded.

 

ADDITIONALLY:

4. Rent moratorium extended.

5. Healthcare relief programs extended.

6. A plan for longterm UI reform enacted that includes automatic stabilizers and a higher wage base.

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 insert a sentence or two about your personal story here. Make sure to include I want to go back to work, but...)

 

Thank you for passing the American Rescue Plan. Unfortunately, necessary programs are ending too early for millions of Americans who are still out work. 4.1 million Americans have been stripped of their lifelines early by their states. This is cruelty, plain and simple and the Senator (or Congressperson) needs to speak out against it. Even federally, all programs end September 6th, dropping millions more off a cliff with no safety net to catch them as the Delta variant surges. I need the Senator (or Congressperson) to ensure our needs will be met in the next reconciliation package. That means:

  • PUA, PEUC, and FPUC extended with additional weeks with automatic stabilizers until the crisis is over for ALL STATES;

  • tax cancellation on UI and PUA payments;

  • extension of the eviction moratorium;

  • extension of all pandemic healthcare programs; and

  • Long term UI reform to fix the broken system that got us here
     

Continued relief and reform is needed. This crisis is not over for millions of us. If you abandon us, the country's recovery will stall. It's imperative Democrats uphold the workers-first 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 insert a sentence or two about your personal story here. Make sure to include I want to go back to work, but...)

 

Thank you for passing the American Rescue Plan. Unfortunately, necessary programs are ending too early for millions of Americans who are still out work. 4.1 million Americans have been stripped of their lifelines early by their states. This is cruelty, plain and simple and the Senator (or Congressperson) needs to speak out against it. Even federally, all programs end September 6th, dropping millions more off a cliff with no safety net to catch them as the Delta variant surges. I need the Senator (or Congressperson) to ensure our needs will be met. That means:

  • PUA, PEUC, and FPUC extended with additional weeks with automatic stabilizers until the crisis is over for ALL STATES;

  • tax cancellation on UI and PUA payments;

  • extension of the eviction moratorium;

  • extension of all pandemic healthcare programs; and

  • Long term UI reform to fix the broken system that got us here
     

Continued relief and reform is needed. This crisis is not over for millions of us. If you abandon us, the country's recovery will stall.

 

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

Key Summer Targets
Not sure who your rep is? Check here.

 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 

Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden

Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders

Virginia Senator Mark Warner (has been elemental in negotiations)

Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

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 with the above demands.

Spring 2021 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