Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Support Latest COVID-19 Relief Package | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Support Latest COVID-19 Relief Package

May 15, 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

Washington, DC — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) voted today in support of the Heroes Act, a bold and comprehensive legislative package that meets 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. The Heroes Act will protect working-class Americans by providing crucial stabilization funds.

The bill will also support small businesses by extending the Payroll Protection Program’s forgiveness deadline from eight to 24 weeks and providing $10 billion in COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

“During this unprecedented crisis, we need this legislation to stabilize our economy and keep our families and businesses solvent. This bill does that by providing a second round of direct payments of up to $6,000 per household and extending the weekly $600 federal unemployment payment through January 2021,” said Congressman Ryan. “This funding will also allow our local communities to save the jobs of first responders. It will secure more funding for COVID-19 testing, tracing, and treatment, which is the only way to safely open up the country and get our economy moving again. 

“This is much-needed legislation, and I am proud to have supported it, but I believe that another one-time check is not enough to establish an economic recovery that will ensure working-class families can pay their bills. We need recurring payments until our economy recovers, and I will continue to fight to pass the Emergency Money for the People Act, which puts $2,000 directly into the hands of every qualifying American over the age of 16 until employment returns to pre-COVID-19 levels,” added Congressman Ryan.

Other resources provided:

• Establishes $1T Fund for State, Local, Territorial and Tribal Governments: The bill will grant these funds to institutions to pay health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vital workers.  

• Commits $75 billion for Testing, Tracing and Treatment: In order to safely reopen our country, we needto ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment. This bill requires an updated National Strategic Plan on testing with clear benchmarks and timelines be submitted to Congress by June 15. 

• Ensures Further Support for Health Security: Provides COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA Marketplaces for those without insurance.

• Strengthens Federal Support for States’ Medicaid Programs: Increases Medicaid’s Federal Matching Assistance (FMAP) by 14 percentage points through June 30, 2021 – providing federal dollars that are critically needed by the states. 

• Prohibits Employers from Retaliating Against Workers Who Report Infection Control Problems: Preventsemployers from retaliating against workers for reporting or publicizing health and safety hazards, including infection control problems.  

• Extends Weekly $600 Federal Unemployment Payments through January 31, 2020. This provides a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed.

• Makes a number of key improvements to SNAP, nutrition, and food assistance. This includes boostingSNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent (through September 30, 2021) and doubling the minimum monthly SNAP benefit from $16 to $30. It also provides an additional $3 billion to provide emergency financial relief to school meal providers and to USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.

• Supports Elementary and Secondary Schools and Public Postsecondary Institutions. Provides $90 billion to the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. It designates nearly $58 billion for K-12 schools to continue delivering instruction, including purchasing education technology and hotspot devices, planning and implementing summer learning, professional development, and maintaining school personnel employment. Approximately $27 billion to support public institutions of higher education and their students.

• Provides Student Loan Debt Relief: The bill provides up to $10,000 in student debt relief for economically distressed federal borrowers; ensures all federal student loan borrowers benefit from the temporary suspension of payments, interest accrual and involuntary collections through September 2021; and provides debt relief to student borrowers defrauded by Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech. 

• Expands Access to Broadband: With America’s students dependent on remote learning during this public health emergency, it is clearer than ever that all American households need access to broadband in their homes. The bill provides $1.5 billion for schools and libraries to purchase internet connectivity, hotspots and “connected devices” like tablets for students to facilitate remote learning throughout the length of the public health emergency.

• Includes Election Assistance and Preserves Postal Service: Provides $25 billion to the Postal Service. This funding will play a key role in ensuring safe elections.

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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