Lofgren Statement on The Heroes Act
SAN JOSE, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) issued the below statement on H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act:
“During this unique and difficult time for our nation, I support The Heroes Act to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic catastrophe.
“This bill will provide relief to my constituents in California’s 19th District by providing nearly $1 trillion for state and local governments and the added flexibility to use these funds to address significant revenue shortfalls. The State of California is projecting a $54 billion shortfall through the next fiscal year, and this additional funding and flexibility will help maintain various health and welfare programs as well as keep our teachers, first responders, public health and other essential workers employed.
“Throughout the pandemic, more than 3,000 constituents and small business owners have contacted me to share the financial hardships they are facing. The Heroes Act addresses these challenges with a second round of direct payments for individuals and families, an extension of unemployment benefits, and $175 billion for rental and mortgage assistance. Plus, it strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program and expands eligibility to nonprofits of all sizes. The bill also makes key investments in food security by boosting SNAP maximum benefits by 15% and nearly doubling the minimum monthly benefit from $16 to $30. The bill provides $25 billion for the Postal Service to prevent its demise during this time when increasing numbers of Americans rely on it as a lifeline to receive medicine and vital materials.
“COVID-19 has put an enormous strain on our education system, and this bill provides critical relief for students and schools. Our Santa Clara County institutions of higher education will be eligible for direct emergency funding and billions more will be available for California to support elementary and secondary schools. The Heroes Act also provides $7 billion for childcare providers and extends student loan debt relief.
“The Heroes Act is also forward-facing, with $75 billion for testing, tracing, and treatment. California has been following science and medical professionals, and our national plan for re-opening must also be strategic and science-based.
“As Chair of the Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee, I authored provisions to provide temporary protections for essential critical immigrant infrastructure workers and help keep detention centers safe. As Chair of the Committee on House Administration, I secured safeguards for our democracy, including funding and protections to ensure elections can be held in 2020. Working with the Chair of the Rules Committee, I helped craft provisions that bring Congress into the 21st Century, which will allow the House to play a full and robust legislative and oversight role during the pandemic.
“A crisis of this magnitude requires bold legislative actions, and this bill will provide relief for American workers, families, students, small businesses, and healthcare systems. I vow to continue working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to help jumpstart our economic recovery and address specific community needs during and after this public health emergency.”