Read Sean's Proposal on our
COVID-19 Response



We face an unprecedented challenge but it is one we can use to tighten our community bonds and demonstrate America's great resilience. While there is uncertainty in a frightful future, there are steps we should and can take now to help folks the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting hardest. I watched with great interest this morning as the President began to talk about stimulus action to help Americans. I am hopeful a sober, realistic response to this crisis is finally emerging. But we must be vigilant and ensure that any stimulus is aimed where it will do the most good and where, I believe, we are morally obligated to act now: prioritizing working families and the poor.


Here are some policy actions that should be seriously considered or passed now. Keep in mind, these are not exclusive and I certainly would not say these are exhaustive. If circumstances dictate longer or shorter periods of time, so be it. If economic conditions worsen and require further relief to restart a shuttering economy, we should explore those options. But we need to begin laying out a realistic progressive plan of action that provides a lifeline to a labor force that is largely going to be impossible to utilize in the short term and, at the same time, begin to provide economic incentives and stimulus to industries to survive so that they will be able to restart our economy.  


That’s why I’m supporting:


  • 2 to 4 months of mortgage and rent abatement, for individuals and small businesses.

  • Immediate suspension of all student loan interest and 6-month emergency stop on existing collections. Serious consideration should be given to stronger loan forgiveness or cancellation proposals now than ever before.

  • Immediate provision of loans for small businesses that are closing to fight the spread of COVID-19. The President has already announced some form of this, but it likely needs to be a larger portfolio than $50 billion and likely should be interest free for a significant period of time, if not indefinitely.

  • A moratorium on evictions of both individuals and small businesses for the next 3 to 6 months. 

  • A $1000/mo tax rebate per person for 3 to 6 months. Andrew Yang was prescient.

  • Broader and more permanent paid sick leave — the current plan carving out businesses with over 500 employees does not go far enough. We need to fix that loophole.

  • Waiver of insurance deductibles for the next 6 months. Any illnesses or injuries impacting people through the summer are going to be incredibly stressful to family finances during this economic shock.

  • Free coronavirus testing and treatment for all Americans.

  • Full coverage for all coronavirus treatments for indigents and low-income individuals, consistent with TANF eligibility guidelines.

  • Fully restoring CDC funding levels to pre-Trump admin levels. America must be a global science leader. This crisis proves American global leadership still matters and we must live up to our obligations.

  • A strong federal commitment to nationalize any future COVID-19 vaccine and provide it cheaply or free of charge to every American.

  • Resources for COVID-19 testing and emergency care in immigration detention centers, prisons, and jails to limit disease transmission, including an immediate cessation of ICE enforcement, capture, and transfer policies. 

  • With tens of thousands of workers at DFW, American, and Southwest, we need to ensure the airline industry survives. Some form of industry support will be necessary here because a nation full of airline bankruptcies is not a nation that can begin to restart the global economy. But no public funds should be used on executive bonuses or stock buybacks.


This is in no priority order and I am sure there are other things we should consider. But we need to fight for bold and progressive emergency reform measures to get us through the crisis and we need to start thinking now about how we ensure our labor force and working families survive the coming economic crisis while social contact is limited or eliminated. In the past, fiscal stimulus has been a response aimed at creating jobs and putting folks to work. This situation is unique in that our labor force cannot presently work in any meaningful or normal way. 


We must do everything we can to help save our working families and make our industry ready to restart when we emerge from this public health crisis. Social safety nets are essential and, right now, we need the biggest one we can imagine. We can get through this together, but we should act quickly to protect everyday people from financial hardships.  I have faith that Texans — and Americans across the country — will come together and weather this crisis together. In the meantime, let’s remember to practice social distancing, good hygiene, and work to make sure the most vulnerable in our community are cared for. 


Yours in service, 


Sean McCaffity