Congressman Tim Ryan Applauds Introduction of New Coronavirus Relief Package | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Applauds Introduction of New Coronavirus Relief Package

May 12, 2020
Press Release
The Heroes Act Provides Additional Cash Assistance Payments, Financial Aid to Local Communities,Hazard Pay for Essential Workers, and Support for Testing, Tracing, and Treatment

Youngstown, Ohio — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today applauds the introduction of the Heroes Act, a bold and comprehensive coronavirus response bill that continues to meet the challenges this pandemic poses to our nation. The Heroes Act provides additional cash assistance payments, financial aid to local communities, hazard pay for essential workers, and support for testing, tracing, and treatment. 

“I applaud the introduction of the Heroes Act, which takes much needed steps to provide continued COVID-19 relief. Our local communities are in desperate need of this funding to pay for critical jobs and services. Without this funding, our local communities are being forced to cut critical services and lay off first responders. I am also pleased to see expanded funding for COVID-19 testing, tracing, and treatment. If we are going to move our country forward, we need to ensure that we can do so safely – and according to the experts, the only way to do that is by having robust testing, tracing, and treatment options,” said Congressman Ryan. “While I am proud that this legislation provides an additional $1,200 payment to eligible Americans and increased payments for dependents, it does not go far enough. Another one-time check is not going to cut it. This crisis is unfortunately not going to end tomorrow, we need continued payments until our economy recovers. I will continue to fight to pass my legislation that provides $2,000 checks to every American until the unemployment level returns to pre-COVID-19 levels.”

The more than $3 trillion legislation protects the lives and livelihoods of the American people. Among its many provisions, the bill:

  • Provides additional direct payments, cushioning the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis with a second round of more substantial economic impact payments of $1,200 per family member, up to $6,000 per household. Increases the credit for dependents to $1200 for each dependent (capped at 3), and ensures it applies to all dependents, not simply those 17 and under.
  • Honors our heroes, by providing nearly $1 trillion in flexible funding to state, local, territorial and tribal governments who desperately need funds to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.
  • Establishes a Heroes’ Fund for essential workers, with $200 billion to ensure that essential workers who have risked their lives working during the pandemic receive hazard pay.
  • Supports small businesses and nonprofits, by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types, extends loan forgiveness deadlines, and provides small business $10 billion for Covid-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Provides Student Loan forgiveness of $10,000 for all Department of Education loan borrowers (private & federal loans).
  • Supports testing, tracing and treatment, by providing another $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, ensuring every American can access free coronavirus treatment, and supporting hospitals and providers.
  • Protects payrolls, by enhancing the new employee retention tax credit that encourages employers to keep employees on payroll, allowing 60 million Americans to remain connected to their paychecks and benefits.
  • Ensures worker safety, by requiring OSHA to issue a strong, enforceable standard within seven days to require all workplaces to develop and implement infection control plans based on CDC expertise, and prevents employers from retaliating against workers who report infection control problems.
  • Preserves health coverage, by protecting Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance with COBRA subsidies to maintain their coverage and creating a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for uninsured Americans.
  • Extends unemployment benefits, ensuring weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January, providing a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed.
  • Bolsters housing assistance, helping struggling families afford a safe place to live with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs.
  • Strengthens food security, addressing rising hunger with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.
  • Safeguards our democracy, with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service.

The legislation follows the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act enacted on April 24; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted on March 18; and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act enacted on March 6.

The text of The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800, is here. A one pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. A resource on the state and local relief provisions is here.

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