CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Activists from West Virginia Community groups are asking U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and U.S. Senate leadership to pass a COVID-19 stimulus package before nominating the next Supreme Court justice.
Members from WV Citizen Action Group, WV Working Families Party, WV FREE Action Fund, Rise Up WV, WV Sierra Club, and others held a Car-A-Van roving car demonstration to underline their message Thursday in downtown Charleston outside of Capito’s office.
“They need to put people first, they need to provide robust COVID relief and pass that before taking up any Supreme Court nominations,” Gary Zuckett, executive director WV Citizens Action Group told MetroNews as car horns blared at the corner of Laidley and Virginia Street.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, leaving a vacancy that the U.S. Senate is poised to confirm. U.S. President Donald Trump said he will announce his nominee to the court on Saturday.
Zuckett said members of the GOP should follow their words in 2016, when they expressed the need in waiting to nominate a justice until the general election was over.
“Well it wasn’t priority one in 2016 so why is it priority one now. We are asking them to put people over politics,” Zuckett said.
Hunter Starks with WV Citizen Action Group said not only does she want a second stimulus package passed quickly but a Supreme Court justice nominated after the election because of the impact it could have on Obamacare.
Ginsburg has previously voted to uphold the Obamacare law but conservatives, led by Trump, have vowed to replace it.
“People like me are at risk,” Starks said who has a pre-existing condition. “If ACA goes away, people like me are fighting to get out of poverty and it makes it that much harder to do so.”
Zuckett said more West Virginians will fall below the poverty line if the U.S. Senate does not pass a COVID stimulus package soon. The protest comes two weeks after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a half-trillion dollar package.
“They are losing their homes now, they don’t have enough money to pay their mortgages, they don’t have enough money to pay their car payments. People are desperate,” he said.
“We are going to have a huge bump in the homeless population unless we keep people in their homes.”