Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman David Scott (GA-13)
Congressman David Scott (GA-13) and House Democrats voted to pass the updated HEROES Act, addressing urgent COVID-19 public health and economic relief needs that have developed since the House passed an earlier version in May.
“Tonight, I voted to deliver critical aid immediately to the American people,” said Rep. Scott. “Challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to persist and evolve. Families, small businesses, hospitals and local governments in Georgia and across this country are struggling and looking to Congress for relief during this crisis. The updated HEROES Act passed today in the House would provide $2.2 trillion to help working families keep their livelihoods intact, keep essential workers on the frontline and small businesses stay afloat. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this legislation without delay.”
The revised HEROES Act will provide immediate assistance by:
· Bolstering housing assistance and helping struggling families afford a safe place to live with tens of billions in new support to assist renters and homeowners and to prevent homelessness.
· Providing additional direct payments and cushioning the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis with a second round of economic impact payments of $1,200 per taxpayer and $500 per dependent.
· Restoring unemployment benefits, ensuring weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through January 2021 and preventing unemployed workers from exhausting their eligibility. This would provide a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed, including those connected to the gig-economy.
· Extending the Payroll Support Program (PSP) to keep airline industry workers paid through March 2021.
· Bolstering education and childcare by providing $182 billion for K-12 schools, nearly $39 billion for postsecondary education, and $57 billion to support childcare for families.
· Honoring our heroes through $436 billion in funding to state, local, territorial and tribal governments who desperately need funds to pay essential workers, like first responders and health care providers, who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.
· Supporting testing, tracing and treatment through $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, with special attention to the disparities facing communities of color; ensuring every American can access free coronavirus treatment; and supporting hospitals and providers. The updated bill also includes $28 billion for procurement, distribution, and education campaigns for a safe and effective vaccine.
· Improving the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and providing targeted assistance through another round of loans to serve the smallest businesses and struggling non-profits.
· Protecting payrolls and enhancing the new employee retention tax credit that encourages employers to keep employees on payroll.
· Strengthening food security and addressing rising hunger with a 15 percent increase to the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table as well as targeted support for farmers and producers impacted by the crisis.
· Safeguarding our democracy and providing new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and to preserve the Postal Service.
· Preserving health coverage and protecting Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance by making unemployed Americans automatically eligible to receive the maximum subsidy under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the exchanges, as well as a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for uninsured Americans.
· Ensuring worker safety and requiring OSHA to issue a strong, enforceable standard within seven days to require all workplaces to develop and implement infection control plans based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) expertise.
The updated Heroes Act is the House’s sixth piece of comprehensive legislation to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation follows the first iteration of The Heroes Act, which passed the House on May 15; the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, enacted on April 24; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted on March 18; and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act enacted on March 6.
To view the text of the revised version of The Heroes Act, click here. A one-pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. Additional information on the state and local relief provisions is here.