Yesterday, I drove back to Massachusetts after a busy week in Washington working on urgent relief legislation to help Massachusetts families and pave the way toward dealing with this public health crisis so we can safely reopen our economy.
As Chair of the Rules Committee, I brought to the House Floor the Heroes Act, the most significant and comprehensive COVID-19 response bill to date. You can watch my remarks on YouTube by clicking below:
After a marathon hearing in the Rules Committee, I was proud to vote yes on the bipartisan bill we brought to the floor on Friday. Our bill is named after the heroes who are on the front lines of this crisis. The idea behind the Heroes Act is simple: we are all in this together.
This is not a Democratic bill or a Republican bill. It's a bill that puts the American people first and honors our commitment to look out for one another in times of need.
The Heroes Act is based on three pillars:
• Opening the economy with a science-based path of testing, tracing, treatment and social distancing: our legislation commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing and treatment we need to help safely begin reopening our country.
• Providing strong support for our heroes with nearly $1 trillion for state and local governments who desperately need emergency funding to pay the health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.
• Putting money in the pockets of workers and families with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
Let’s make this a two-way conversation. Do you support the Heroes Act?
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Our bill also includes important provisions like:
• My recommendations to strengthen anti-hunger programs including a 15% increase in maximum benefits for people receiving assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), an increase in the minimum monthly SNAP benefit from $16 to $30, and a provision preventing the Trump administration from implementing rules that weaken benefits and access to food.
• $7 billion to help child care providers maintain critical operations and ensure that essential workers can access child care services as they continue to fight this pandemic.
• A new national standard for paid sick days and paid family and medical leave that includes essential workers who were previously left out of past COVID-19 emergency measures.
• Important fixes to the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure that Main Street small businesses and non-profits get financial help, for example by extending the current covered period from 8 weeks to 24 weeks and eliminating the 75/25 payroll rule so more small businesses qualify for the program.
• $3.6 billion in elections grants to states for contingency planning, preparation, and resilience of elections for public office to uphold the right to vote for every American and safeguard our democratic institutions during the pandemic.
• $200 billion to establish a Heroes' Fund so that every essential worker gets hazard pay.
• $25 billion for the United States Postal Service to account for revenue forgone due to the pandemic, as well as additional protections for Postal workers delivering lifesaving supplies and medicine throughout the crisis.
This pandemic is unprecedented, and we need solutions that match the size and scope of the challenges we face. I want you to know that I am working with my colleagues to think big and harness the imagination and strength of our great country to solve these problems together.
As always, if you have additional questions, I want you to know that my office is here to help you in whatever way we can. You can find contact information for all my offices by clicking here, or you can email me by clicking here.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. And most importantly, stay hopeful.