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Bonamici Statement on Passage of Heroes Act

May 15, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC [05/15/20] – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) issued the following statement after the House passed the Heroes Act to provide additional relief during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Our nation is experiencing unprecedented job loss as our communities deal with a global health pandemic that is responsible for the deaths of more than 85,000 individuals in our country in just the past few months,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “We cannot wait another day, another week, or another month to take action. Our communities need help now and they are looking to Congress to lead.

 

We heard loud and clear from our state, local, and Tribal governments that they need more support to keep our communities safe. This ambitious bill provides $915 billion in emergency funding to help them prevent teacher job loss and funding cuts to education and, importantly, the bill expands the use of funds to cover lost, delayed, or decreased revenue from the public health emergency. The Heroes Act will also send immediate help to individuals and families in the form of direct payments and expanded paid sick and family leave, and to our small businesses that are the backbone of our local economies and the heart of our communities.

 

I am grateful that this bill provides $7 billion for child care, but this is far from the investment that is needed to support families, providers, and the child care workforce at this critical time. The increased funding to help families pay for utilities and to support our workforce system are also encouraging steps, but fall short of the vast need our communities are facing. I will continue fighting to build on this legislation to secure the additional resources workers, families, and individuals need to stay healthy and recover.”

 

The Heroes Act includes:

  • $200 billion in premium pay for essential workers to recognize their role in sustaining our communities during the pandemic
  • $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners in making monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments, and other housing-related costs
  • $90 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund that can be used to provide emergency support to students (including Dreamers), schools, and institutions of higher education
  • $85 million in funding for Older Americans Act programs
  • $2.5 billion for adult education, youth training, dislocated worker grants, migrant and seasonal farmworker programs, and public health worker recruitment and training as authorized in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • $1.5 billion in supplemental funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and $1.5 billion for direct assistance with water and wastewater utilities