Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Pass Latest COVID Relief Package
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today voted to pass the latest stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This $2.2T legislation, an updated version of the Heroes Act passed by the House four months earlier, addresses needs that have developed since May and reflects ongoing negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.
This Heroes Act includes many key priorities secured by Congressman Ryan, including: another round of $1200 cash payments; $436 billion of assistance for state and local governments who desperately need funds to pay police, fire, health workers, and teachers; and targeted assistance for the struggling restaurant industry and independent live music venues.
“As long as working-class Americans are continuing to struggle, our number one priority has to be getting them the help they need. I’m proud to have secured another round of cash payments so Americans can receive some much needed relief, as well as vital funding for our state and local governments so they can keep our police and fire, healthcare workers, and teachers employed during this difficult time,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Previous packages we passed this spring helped meet the moment, avoiding catastrophe for working families and the economy at large. Now, working families are exactly who are suffering as long as our Republican Senate colleagues continue to drag their feet. I urge Senate Majority Leader McConnell to stop hitting the pause button – as he put it– and pass this updated Heroes Act without delay.”
The bill also includes:
- Strong support for small businesses, by improving the Paycheck Protection Program to serve the smallest businesses and struggling non-profits, providing hard-hit businesses with second loans, and delivering targeted assistance for the struggling restaurant industry and independent live venue operators.
- Additional assistance for airline industry workers, extending the highly successful Payroll Support Program to keep airline industry workers paid.
- More funds to bolster education and child care, with $225 billion for education – including $182 billion for K-12 schools and nearly $39 billion for postsecondary education – and $57 billion to support child care for families.
- Honors our heroes, through $436 billion to provide one year’s worth of assistance to state, local, territorial and tribal governments who desperately need funds to pay vital workers like first responders and health workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.
- Supports testing, tracing and treatment, through $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, with special attention to the disparities facing communities of color, ensuring every American can access free coronavirus treatment, and supporting hospitals and providers. The updated bill also includes $28 billion for procurement, distribution and education campaigns for a safe and effective vaccine.
- Provides additional direct payments, cushioning the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis with a more robust second round of economic impact payments of $1,200 per taxpayer and $500 per dependent.
- Protects payrolls, by enhancing the new employee retention tax credit that encourages employers to keep employees on payroll.
- 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.
- Preserves health coverage, protecting Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance by making unemployed Americans automatically receive the maximum ACA subsidy on the exchanges, as well as a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for uninsured Americans.
- Restores unemployment benefits, ensuring weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January and preventing unemployed workers from exhausting their eligibility, providing a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed, including those connected to the gig-economy.
- Bolsters housing assistance, helping struggling families afford a safe place to live with tens of billions in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs – preventing homelessness.
- 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 as well as targeted support for farmers and producers impacted by the crisis.
- Safeguards our democracy, with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service.
The text of revised version of The Heroes Act is here. A one-pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. Additional information on the state and local relief provisions is here.