Kaptur Speaks in Support of the HEROES Act Ahead of Key Vote

May 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee, spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), ahead of a vote on the bill scheduled for Friday evening. This emergency legislation, which honors those on the frontlines, including healthcare professionals, first responders, transit workers, and other essential workers, will play a monumental role in overcoming the dual public health and economic challenges we face as a result of COVID-19.


Rep. Kaptur delivered the following speech on the House floor in support of the bill:


Mr. Speaker,


The American people expect Congress to have their backs.


Our economy needs help with historic levels of unemployment baring down. The HEROES Act will provide a bridge of support to save lives and the livelihoods of families, workers, hospitals, and small businesses on the frontlines. Imagine those folks.


Let me applaud all those still working, facing an unknown killer.


A huge win within the HEROES Act is significant and directs assistance to communities of all sizes that are hemorrhaging because of the costs of fire and police and emergency workers.


This legislation will finally make multiemployer pension plans whole again as well.


Today, the deep recession requires bold action by our Congress. American lives truly are on the line here at home. I urge all of my colleagues to vote yes on this life saving bill.


Key Provisions of the HEROES Act:


  • Commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing and treatment we need in order to have a science-based path to safely reopen our country and helping ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
  • Provides strong support for our heroes with nearly $1 trillion for state, local, territorial and tribal governments on the frontlines who desperately need funds to pay the health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs. The Heroes Act also will establish a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers receive hazard pay. Specifically, the bill provides $500 billion for state governments, $375 billion for local governments, $20 billion for tribal governments, and $20 billion for the territories.
  • Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families of up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
  • Supports small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types and responds flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for Covid-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Ensures further support for Americans, including for:
    • Health security – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA Marketplaces for those without insurance.
    • Workplace security – requiring OSHA to ensure that all workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report problems.
    • Housing security – with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs.
    • Food security – with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.
  • Protects the life of our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service.
  • Provides much needed financial support to troubled multiemployer pension plans with direct assistance through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. This is a critical provision making multiemployer pensions whole again at a time when the economic futures of so many workers and retirees are at terrible risk.


A summary of the legislation can be found here.