10.01.20

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Applauds the Passage of the Updated Heroes Act

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Lee released the following statement following the passage of an updated version of The Heroes Act, addressing needs that have developed since the House passed an earlier version in May and reflecting negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.

“Since the start of this crisis, House Democrats have fought tirelessly to put the American people first and provide relief for those have been hit hardest by this pandemic and economic crisis, including Black, Latinx, AAPI and indigenous people. 

“Four months ago, House Democrats passed the Heroes Act, a comprehensive bill to help unemployed workers and help families keep food on the table. I am deeply disappointed by Leader McConnell’s lack of action to address the needs of the American people during a pandemic and one of the worst economic crises our country has seen. 

“Once again, my colleagues in the House are showing their commitment to fighting this pandemic and putting our economy back on track. The updated version of the Heroes Act is an important step forward in the fight to provide urgently needed relief to the American people. This bill includes funding necessary to fight the spread of COVID-19 and support our schools, small businesses, and restaurants. 

“I’m especially glad that we were able to include funding for SNAP benefits, unemployment payments, childcare and education, including $458,106,400 in funding for our community in Alameda County.  I am also pleased that the bill contains necessary contributions to the global effort to fight COVID.  This pandemic doesn’t respect borders; we need to work with partners around the world if we hope to get COVID under control.

“This bill will also ramp up testing, contact tracing, and outreach to help ensure that those communities impacted the most are supported.  I am particularly pleased that Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Pallone worked with me to strengthen outreach to medically underserved communities.  Black, brown and indigenous people have suffered the most from COVID.  New language included at my request will ensure that the testing and tracing effort reaches Black and Brown people as partners in engaging their communities.

“I hope that Senate Republicans and the Trump Administration will put the American people first and pass this bill, which will help millions struggling to get by during this pandemic and invest in measures to keep our communities safe.”

The $2.2 trillion legislation protects lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy, and addresses needs that have arisen since the House first acted in

May. The updated legislation includes the following:

  • Local funding – $37.21 billion for California and $458,106,400 for Alameda County. 
  • Direct Payments – this bill provides a more robust second round of economic impact payments of $1,200 per taxpayer and $500 per dependent.
  • Unemployment benefits – this bill resumes weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January. 
  • Food security – this bill addresses hunger and food insecurity with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and funding for nutrition programs and support for farmers and producers impacted by the crisis.
  • Housing – this bill provides tens of billions in new supports to assist renters and homeowners. 
  • Postal Service – this bill provides new resources for safe elections, an accurate Census, and supporting the Postal Service. 
  • Testing, tracing and treatment - this bill provides $75 billion for COVID testing, contact tracing and isolation, with special attention to the disparities facing communities of color, ensuring access to free coronavirus treatment, and supporting hospitals and providers. 
  • Childcare – this bill provides more funding for education and child care, with $225 billion for education, including $182 billion for K12 schools and nearly $39 billion for postsecondary education, and $57 billion to support child care for families. 
  • Small businesses – by improving the Paycheck Protection Program, this bill supports the smallest businesses and non-profits and delivers targeted assistance for the restaurant industry and independent live venue operators.

See the full bill here and a summary here.