WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement on the passage of the Heroes Act.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our collective resolve and required us to be bold in our response. As we move forward, it is abundantly clear that our communities, workers, and families urgently need more support,” said Congresswoman Matsui, Sacramento’s voice in Congress. “This bill provides needed resources that will help save American lives and strengthen our economy. During this crisis, we cannot waver in our commitment to those serving us on the front lines and I am proud of Sacramento’s steadfast dedication to our community. I will continue to fight for our region and safeguard the livelihoods of all Sacramentans.”
The Heroes Act provides state governments and local communities on the front lines of this crisis with nearly $1 trillion to cover coronavirus-related expenses and pay our health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.
In addition to resources for our state, local, tribal and territorial governments, the Heroes Act provides transformative, far-reaching support to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people.
- Provides strong support for our heroes by establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers across the country receive hazard pay.
- Commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing and treatment we need in order to have a science-based path to safely reopen our country and helping ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
- Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs, and $600 weekly federal unemployment payments through next January.
- Supports small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities and nonprofits, provides additional flexibility to small businesses, and makes available $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
- Ensures further support for Californians and all Americans, including for:
- Health security – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for those without insurance.
- Workplace security – requiring OSHA to ensure that all workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report problems.
- Housing security – with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners afford monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments, and other housing-related costs.
- Food security – with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.
- Protects the life of our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service.
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