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Congressman Carson Statement on House Passage of the Heroes Act

May 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC -- Congressman André Carson lauded the House of Representatives' passage of the Heroes Act, the House's latest legislation to address the continuing COVID-19 crisis and provide desperately needed support for struggling families and essential workers. It provides funds for testing and tracing measures, key support for frontline workers and strengthened assistance for the American people.  

“Indiana continues to struggle in the grips of COVID-19, and Hoosiers need more support to weather this ongoing crisis,” Rep. Carson said. "I cast my vote today to pass the Heroes Act to protect Hoosier workers and families, and ensure all our frontline heroes have the support they need to continue to save lives and keep our communities healthy and safe.” 

The Heroes Act provides state governments and local communities on the frontlines of this crisis with robust, desperately needed funding to cover COVID-19-related outlays and revenue loss. It will also help pay our health care workers, police, fire, transportation, emergency responders, teachers and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.  

The Heroes Act also includes a $90 billion fund to support state and local public education. This funding will help maintain or restore state and local fiscal support for elementary, secondary and public higher education and can be used to meet a wide range of urgent needs, including summer learning, afterschool programs, distance learning, and emergency financial aid for college students, plus coordination with public health departments to mitigate the spread of this disease.

In addition to resources for our state, local, tribal and territorial governments, the Heroes Act provides transformative and desperately needed support to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people and the life of our democracy.

· Invests another $75 billion for the testing, tracing and treatment we need for a science-based path to safely reopen our country, and helping ensure that every American can access free COVID-19 treatment.

·Provides strong support for our heroes with nearly $1 trillion for state, local, territorial and tribal governments on the frontlines who need the funds to pay our frontline heroes. This bill will also establish a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers receive hazard pay.  

·Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household and includes new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs, and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.

·Supports small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types, and responds to small businesses by providing $10 billion for Covid-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

·Ensures further support for Americans, including for:

o   Health security – with Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) subsidies and a special enrollment period in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges for those without insurance.

o   Workplace security – requiring the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure that all workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report problems.

o   Housing security – with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs.

o   Food security – 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.  

·Protects the life of our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service. 

"In times of crisis, Hoosiers have always risen to the occasion to help our fellow Americans, and this is no exception. As this pandemic continues to ravage our communities, we have a responsibility to do all that we can to save lives, protect jobs, and give our frontline heroes the resources they deserve. The Heroes Act will help us achieve these urgent objectives, and we can't wait a moment longer to make it law. I urge the Senate to put aside partisanship and do what's right for the American people by supporting this strong relief package."