Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an updated version of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. According to the House Appropriations Committee, the revised legislation includes strong support for small businesses; additional assistance for workers and the unemployed; and 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.
Following the passage of the bill, Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The updated HEROES Act underscores House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the House of Representatives’ willingness to work across the aisle to save lives, preserve jobs, and prevent a long-lasting economic recession. It also stands in sharp contrast to the White House and Senate Republicans’ refusal to pass any sort of significant relief bill in more than six months, even as they attempt to jam through a Supreme Court nomination in order to repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip health care from tens of millions during a global pandemic that has sickened more than 7 million Americans and killed more than 200,000.
It’s been 139 days since the House passed the original version of the HEROES Act with a bipartisan vote. Since then, House leadership has worked diligently to find common ground with the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Today’s passage of the updated version of the HEROES Act reflects that spirit of bipartisanship and willingness to meet the moment. The House has reduced the bill’s price tag but preserved essential provisions, including the expanded $600-per-week emergency unemployment benefit; significant funding for coronavirus testing, contact tracing, guaranteed paid leave, and vaccines; and state and local aid to keep first responders, teachers, and health workers on the job. The updated HEROES Act also includes new, much-needed provisions, including an improved Paycheck Protection Program, and more funds to salvage education and child care.
Over the last four months, since the House passed the first HEROES Act, the human and economic toll of inaction has only increased. Economists are increasingly warning that without relief, the United States is setting itself up for a deep, long-lasting recession that would hurt most those least able to bear it. The White House and Senate majority seem only to care about Wall Street’s recovery while pretending that their stonewalling has not caused agony and chaos for millions of people on Main Street. Enough with the delays: The Senate must act on this bill.
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