Evans Will Vote for Sweeping Covid-19 Relief Bill, the Heroes Act
WASHINGTON (May 15, 2020) – Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03) will vote for the Heroes Act, a sweeping Covid-19 relief bill the House of Representatives is expected to pass later today.
“We need an urgent federal response that is equal to the crisis we face. Unemployment and food-bank lines have reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. We can spend some money now or spend a lot more later. I choose confronting the problem head-on and dealing with it. Of course debt matters, but we’ll be in a lot more debt if we fail to act. I urge the Senate to hear the Americans crying out for urgent help and join us in passing this bill,” Evans said.
“Even the nonpartisan chairman of the Federal Reserve – appointed by President Trump – is basically begging Congress to act on more sweeping relief like the Heroes Act! He said, ‘The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II.’”
Evans said the Heroes Act includes several provisions to address critical needs:
- Nearly $1 trillion to state and local governments to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers and teachers in danger of losing their jobs. This funding would include $3.1 billion to help Pennsylvania prevent education cuts and $38.2 billion for Pennsylvania overall.
- $200 billion in hazard pay for essential workers.
- Another $75 billion – in addition to previous funding - for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, ensuring every American could access free coronavirus treatment, and supporting hospitals and providers. Congressman Evans has called for universal access to testing as the only way to reopen the country safely.
- A second round of more substantial economic impact payments of $1,200 per family member, up to $6,000 per household.
- $175 billion in new supports to help renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs.
- $11.5 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants to address the impact of coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and diversion activities to mitigate the pandemic's impacts.
- Ensuring weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
- Addressing rising hunger with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs such as WIC that help families put food on the table.
- Protecting Americans who lose employer-provided health insurance with COBRA subsidies to maintain their coverage, and creating a special enrollment period in the Affordable Care Act exchanges for uninsured Americans.
- 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.
- Strengthening the small-business Paycheck Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types.
- Responding flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for Covid-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
- 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.
- Preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report infection control problems.
- Safeguarding our democracy, with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service. Pennsylvania would receive $128,915,800 in election assistance under the bill.
“House Democrats recognize the urgent need for more relief – and the Heroes Act would provide it. It’s time for the Senate to catch up!”
To keep up with news and government actions about the outbreak, Evans invites constituents to follow his updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, @RepDwightEvans, including his Facebook and Instagram Stories. They can also sign up for his e-newsletter at evans.house.gov. Evans’ office is continuing to provide service to constituents by telephone or email; the Philadelphia office number is 215-276-0340.
Evans represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Northwest and West Philadelphia and parts of North, South, Southwest and Center City Philadelphia.