Historic $3 Trillion Heroes Act Provides Urgent Pandemic Relief for all Americans and Paves the Way for States to Safely Reopen
Friday, May 15, 2020- Washington, D.C.—Today, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Representative Katherine Clark joined the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the Heroes Act, House Democrats’ latest legislation to address the continued coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis and provide desperately needed support for struggling families and State and local governments fighting the pandemic, with funds for testing and tracing measures, key support for frontline workers, and strengthened assistance for the American people. Clark also released a new detailed estimate of the direct benefits that the Heroes Act would provide to Massachusetts and local communities in Massachusetts’ fifth Congressional district.
“The coronavirus pandemic has quickly become a generation-defining event. We can’t wish it away, nor can we accept the false choice that we either recklessly reopen or lose to the virus”, said Congresswoman Clark. “In the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, our nation has shown time and again that we can accomplish the impossible when we think big and act decisively. The Heroes Act meets this historic moment with the urgency and innovation that is required to protect Americans’ health and financial security. Our science-based and forward-thinking legislation will save lives, protect our front line workers, offer a lifeline to state and local governments, bring relief to families, and support our nation’s children. Today, the House of Representatives voted for the heroes, for our future, and for the people.”
The Heroes Act includes:
- $75 billion for the testing, tracing, and treatment needed to safely reopen the economy and quickly contain any future outbreaks so it can remain open.
- $1 trillion for state and local governments at the center of the crisis so they can pay the health care professionals, first responders, transportation workers, teachers, and other frontline workers risking their lives to keep Americans safe and in danger of losing their jobs.
- $200 billion to establish a Heroes' Fund so that every essential worker gets hazard pay.
- A second, more substantial round of direct economic payments for Americans of up to $6,000 per household that includes previously excluded groups like working college students who were claimed as dependents by their parents.
- $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 the 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.
- $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 democratic institutions during the pandemic.
- $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.
The Heroes Act provides Massachusetts government and local communities on the frontlines of the crisis with robust, desperately needed funding to cover coronavirus-related outlays and revenue loss and pay the Commonwealth’s health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers, and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.
An analysis prepared by the Congressional Research Service estimates that the Heroes Act will provide approximately $12 billion in state funding for the people of Massachusetts in addition to urgently needed funding for MA-05 communities:
- Arlington – $80,470,422 over two years
- Ashland – $8,757,735 over two years
- Belmont – $12,999,107 over two years
- Cambridge – $186,556,701 over two years
- Framingham – $38,925,000 over two years
- Holliston – $7,375,376 over two years
- Lexington – $16,683,092 over two years
- Lincoln – $3,355,675 over two years
- Malden – $100,83,255 over two years
- Medford – $112,973,811 over two years
- Melrose – $13,918,869 over two years
- Natick – $17,886,238 over two years
- Revere – $58,267,809 over two years
- Sherborn – $2,143,149 over two years
- Southborough – $5,020,430 over two years
- Stoneham – $11,221,295 over two years
- Sudbury – $9,689,839 over two years
- Waltham – $69,263,700 over two years
- Watertown – $17,750,471 over two years
- Wayland – $6,853,536 over two years
- Weston – $5,990,549 over two years
- Winchester – $11,281,527 over two years
- Winthrop – $9,226,256 over two years
- Woburn – $19,943,977 over two years