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Oct 01, 2020

Rep. Payne, Jr. Votes for the New Heroes Act

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. was proud to vote for the latest version of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act today to support Americans as well as state and local governments during this public health and economic crisis. 

The $2.2 trillion emergency appropriations bill is a modified version of the previous Heroes Act, the fifth one passed in the last six months to help the country survive the coronavirus global pandemic.  It would provide $436 billion to state and local governments to help them pay coronavirus-related costs and $225 billion for education, including K-12 schools, colleges and universities.  Also, it includes another $1,200 payment to low and middle-income Americans with an additional $500 per child up to a maximum of $6,000 per family.  For American workers who are still unemployed due to the coronavirus, it extends the $600 additional unemployment benefit until January and includes an automatic enrollment in the Affordable Care Act to replace company-sponsored health insurance.  Finally, it provides an additional $75 billion to improve the country’s coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and treatments. 

“We need to do something immediately to help Americans who have lost jobs and health insurance during this global pandemic,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “We passed the first Heroes Act in May to help our citizens and our states recover, but the Senate decided the American people were not worth the investment.  Hopefully, Republicans in the Senate will feel differently with this second version of the Heroes Act because the American people are tired of their inaction.  Senate leadership is far more focused on a new justice for the Supreme Court than helping millions of American families pay rent and put food on the table.” 

In addition, the House bill (H.R. 925) would provide $25 billion to the airline industry as well as an extension of the Payroll Support Program until March of 2021, $32 billion in Transit Emergency Relief, $120 billion to support American restaurants, and $20 billion to fund biomedical research into new treatments and cures for the coronavirus.  The aid to the airline industry came after Rep. Payne, Jr. wrote a letter to House leadership to support more aid to the industry and an extension of the Payroll Support Program.

Rep. Payne, Jr. voted for four critical appropriations bills that became law to support Americans during this public health crisis already.  The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), provided $484 billion to enhance the health and economic security of all Americans, including $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, $75 billion to health care facilities for protective equipment and care, and $25 billion to enhance the country’s coronavirus testing capability.   

The first law, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074), provided $8.3 billion to fund medical efforts.  The second one, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), included free coronavirus testing for Americans and mandatory paid sick leave for workers. The third one, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) authorized more than $2 trillion to Americans in coronavirus aid, including direct payments to low and middle-income workers, increased unemployment benefits, $349 billion to small businesses through grants and interest-free loans, $150 billion to state and local governments to help them handle coronavirus-related expenses, and $200 billion to support America’s hospitals and health care workers. 

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