Press Releases

Rep. Roybal-Allard Supports House Passage of Urgently Needed Legislation to Address the Coronavirus Health & Economic Crises

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Washington, May 15, 2020 | Ben Soskin ((202) 225-1766) | comments
Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) supported the House’s passage of the Heroes Act (H.R. 6800), a crucial new response to the massive health and economic crises created by the coronavirus.  She issued the following statement:

“I strongly support the House Majority’s Heroes Act which is a critical and urgent response in our fight to defeat the COVID-19 catastrophe. As the unimaginable toll of this virus continues to mount, an economic disaster is also unfolding in every corner of our country.

“The Heroes Act is crucial to our ability to address these unprecedented crises. The bill includes new protections for working and middle-class families during this economic catastrophe by providing for a second round of direct payments of up to $6,000 per household.  And it ensures economic stimulus payments for everyone who files a tax return, regardless of immigration status.

“Our bill also provides $175 billion to help homeowners and renters make their mortgage and rent payments, and new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected to their jobs. The bill also extends through January 2021 the weekly $600 federal unemployment payments, and it requires OSHA to develop standards to make workplaces safe from the virus.

“As we keep fighting COVID-19, the Heroes Act provides an additional $75 billion for testing, contact tracing, and treatment that is essential to our ability to save lives, curb the spread of the virus, and reopen our economy. 

“Furthermore, the Heroes Act provides our frontline heroes with the support and protection they need as they fight COVID-19 to save lives and protect our communities. This legislation invests over $1 trillion into our states, cities, and towns, to ensure they can continue to pay our frontline personnel, including health workers, police officers, firefighters, transportation workers, farmworkers, and teachers. The bill also establishes a Heroes’ Fund to ensure our frontline workers receive hazard pay, and it protects our Postal Service workers who are making deliveries on their routes every day.

“In addition, the bill protects many immigrant families by automatically extending work authorization for DACA and TPS recipients. And it protects the health of the public at large by ensuring everyone, regardless of immigration status, has access to free testing, treatment, and services related to COVID-19. The bill also protects essential workers, such as our nation’s farmworkers who pick the crops that feed our families, from deportation. It also allows undocumented students to access higher education financial relief, and permits naturalization oath ceremonies to be administered remotely.

“Our small businesses also get additional support in the Heroes Act. The bill strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure it reaches underserved communities and nonprofits of all sizes and types. And the bill provides $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

“I am concerned, however, with the inclusion of the controversial GROW Act. And I hope this issue can satisfactorily be resolved during our negotiations with the Senate.

“Nevertheless, once again, House Democrats are leading the way during this crisis of COVID-19 with legislation that will save lives and put families and workers first.  

“We have no time to lose. Nearly 90,000 Americans have died from this pandemic. 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment.  And as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said earlier this week, Congress must act now to prevent a deeper and more painful recession.

“I urge the Senate and the President to do the right thing and join the House in supporting the Heroes Act to protect the American people, help American workers, and bolster America’s economy.”

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