COVID-19

What We Believe

The public health and economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 is unprecedented and requires a flexible, creative, and measured approach. As the situation unfolds, the Niskanen Center has been working to help policymakers grapple with policymaking on several fronts.

Poverty and Welfare: The Niskanen Center has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure emergency economic relief reaches the households that need it most, and are well-positioned to impact multiple aspects of the emergency response in the United States.

Niskanen’s work on child benefits crystalized this month, when Republican Senators Romney, Cotton (R-AK), and Hawley (R-MO) all voiced early support for emergency cash payments to every adult and child in the country. We have also advocated for reducing the paperwork required to apply for recovery rebates, enhancing fiscal stabilization for states amid falling sales revenue, increasing SNAP benefits, and expanding health coverage for COVID-19.

Elections: We have been vocal in ensuring that security funds for elections are protected and bolstered, including a bipartisan, bicameral push to increase funding from $140 million to election security to closer to $2 billion. We’re also working with lawmakers to explore the feasibility of various voting modalities, including mail-in ballots and no-excuse absentee voting nationwide, should this unprecedented emergency impact states’ ability to facilitate reliable and accurate elections.

Immigration: It is more critical now than ever that all individuals have access to testing and treatment that will help America overcome this crisis. We believe that immigrants must be eligible for stimulus benefits, and that COVID-19 testing and treatment will not negatively impact a public charge determination in the future. It is more critical now than ever that all individuals have access to testing and treatment that will help America overcome this crisis.

We have also been vocal in calling for immediate changes that will allow foreign-trained doctors, nurses, and social workers to aid in the crisis if they choose, and for ensuring that the closures of USCIS will not negatively impact immigrant populations like DACA and TPS recipients and students.

As Americans reel from the economic and human costs of this virus, we will continue to advocate for creative, sustainable solutions that bolster the economy at large and offer relief to those who need it most.

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