The Senate Must Address COVID-19 Crisis During Lame Duck


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Release Date

Wednesday, December 2, 2020


WASHINGTON –  As the country surpasses 267,000 COVID-19 related deaths, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has urged the Senate to pass legislation during the lame duck period to ensure that all people in America have the resources they need to withstand the crisis, and to provide additional resources to the people and communities that have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s impact.

“As cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities continue to grow out of control nationwide, and as millions of people continue to face economic catastrophe, our nation cannot afford to surrender to the virus or hope that the situation will magically get better. Our nation is starving for true leadership. The House acted by passing the HEROES Act over half a year ago. The responsibility now lies with you to take steps that will save lives, preserve and strengthen our vital institutions, and ensure that the eventual economic recovery works for everyone,” The Leadership Conference wrote to Senators.

The letter, available here, outlines the following priorities for the Senate:

  • Ensure equal access to quality health care

  • Provide more relief for our most marginalized communities

  • Protect the most vulnerable working people

  • Safeguard homes and financial health, and provide shelter to those most in need

  • Reduce law enforcement responses and the risks to incarcerated people and corrections employees

  • Combat the sharp increase in hate crimes

  • Minimize learning loss, ensure equal educational opportunity, and protect student loan borrowers

  • Ensure a fair and accurate census

  • Protect immigrants and citizens alike

In July, 93 civil rights organizations urged the Senate to take strong, comprehensive action to address the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. Most recently, The Leadership Conference opposed the Senate irresponsibly moving forward with judicial nominations instead of focusing on pandemic relief during the lame duck session.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit

Latest Stories