January 15, 2021

Reflections on the State of Our Democracy and President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today released the following reflections on the events of last week and affirms President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 relief package as a critical first step in strengthening our democracy and building back better.

“There has been much reflection following the brutal and deadly January 6 attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol. The horrific images, loss of life, and heart-wrenching stories – many of which are still being released – will be forever ingrained in our memories and this day will go down as one of the darkest in our history. The attack on the Capitol Building was fomented by unfounded conspiracies, racist ideologies, white supremacy, and political extremism that culminated in a violent attempt to dismantle our democracy. Fortunately, although fragile amid civil unrest and a global pandemic, our democracy remains resilient as we are called to adhere to our collective conscience and American values. Now is the time to hold our government leaders accountable, strengthen our democratic institutions, and promote policies and programs that redress racial, gender, and economic disparities, alleviate hunger and poverty, and build back a stronger America.

“Bread for the World is rooted in our Christian identity and unwavering commitment to democratic principles on which the success of our anti-hunger advocacy depends. Seeking to promote government accountability and transparency, the rule of law, and bipartisanship, we work closely with Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the White House who share this deep commitment.

“President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 relief proposal is a critical first step in rebuilding our democratic institutions and ending hunger and poverty. We therefore call on the White House and Congress to ensure a peaceful transition and turn now their attention to those who have been hardest hit, including frontline workers and communities of color, and swiftly pass this package. The package aims to bring an end to the pandemic, fix our broken economy, and help millions in the United States recover from unemployment and put food on the table. The package further aims to address the devastating impacts of a global health and hunger crisis that pose a threat to our wellbeing and security here at home. 

“Specifically, among other provisions, the package extends unemployment insurance and a 15 percent increase to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through at least September – helping people feed their families and make ends meet. The package further provides an additional $1,400 per-person direct stimulus payment to working families, temporarily expands both the Child Tax and Earned Income Tax credits, and proposes to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Finally, the package provides crucial funding for the global response to COVID-19 to address the global health and hunger crisis and support efforts to distribute medical aid for COVID-19.

“Our moral and civic duty as one of the wealthiest, most powerful countries in the world will impact generations. We therefore pray and urge our leaders to remain faithful to our democratic values and work together to pass this COVID-19 relief package. Our future both as a nation and global leader is unequivocally at stake.”

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