Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement after the House voted to pass The Heroes Act, the fourth coronavirus emergency response package which provides urgent relief to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people:
“Today, I was proud to cast my ballot in support of The Heroes Act. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, our communities in Florida and across the nation are being devastated. Over 80,000 Americans are dead. More than a million are or have been ill. More than thirty-six million are unemployed.
“Despite this, the Trump Administration and their allies in Congress continue to engage in wishful thinking that the threat from the virus has passed us. The President seems to believe that the virus has simply disappeared, and the Republican leader of the Senate insists that there is no urgency to act immediately. Turning a blind eye will only exacerbate the pain and suffering of innocent Americans. Despite this willful negligence from President Trump and Leader McConnell, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to ravage our communities and our economy unless we join together to stop it, and this package takes robust action now towards that goal.
“This bill provides critically needed relief for all Americans, especially those brave heroes on the frontlines of this fight — workforces powering our healthcare, police, fire departments, transportation, EMS, schools, delivery services, post offices, food service and so many more. My district and all of our communities need this help and we need it now!”
The Heroes Act provides urgent and robust emergency relief to respond to the dire consequences of this pandemic and protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people, including:
- Boosting COVID-19 testing, tracing and treatment with $75 billion in federal resources, so that we can provide a safe and science-based path to re-open the country.
- Supporting our heroes with $1 trillion for state, local and other governments to pay health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vitally important workers.
- Putting 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 extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
- Ensuring hazard pay for essential workers by establishing a $200 billion Heroes fund.
- Supporting small businesses and nonprofits by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program and providing $10 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
- Protecting health insurance security, workplace security, housing security, and food security, including a 15% boost to SNAP and assistance for our farm communities and producers.
- Safeguarding our democracy by ensuring safe elections, an accurate Census, and support for the U.S. Postal Service
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Dean and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.