05.15.20

Rep. Takano Statement on House Passage of The Heroes Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released this statement following the passage of H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act

“The public health emergency our nation is facing requires immediate, bold action. That’s why I voted in support of The Heroes Act, a bill that would provide families, workers, and veterans with the support they need to make it through this crisis.

“As we live through these uncertain times, I continue hearing from families, workers, and small business owners in Riverside County who are facing job losses, dangerous working conditions, and tight budgets. People are worried about making rent, affording food, and paying their bills on time. The CARES Act provided most families with direct cash payments of $1200 per adult and $500 per child, but the reality is that this one-time payment is simply not enough. The Heroes Act would provide a second round of direct payments to help families in our communities. It also extends the additional $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit through January to ensure that workers who have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced don’t have to worry too much about how they will be able to make ends meet.

“Now, while we have been required to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, millions of workers are still showing up to work every single day. These essential workers – grocery store workers, healthcare workers, warehouse workers, janitors, to name a few – are being exposed to dangerous working conditions, often without having access to the personal protective equipment they need to stay healthy and safe. The Heroes Act shows support to essential workers by establishing a $200 billion ‘Heroes Fund’ to give essential workers hazard pay. This is not only a way to say, ‘Thank you,’ to essential workers, but to ensure that they get the pay they deserve and earned by keeping our country moving forward in the midst of this crisis. 

“As Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I’m proud that this bill included essential provisions to meet veterans’ needs. The Heroes Act authorizes VA healthcare for all veterans who have lost their health insurance due to the pandemic, it strengthens vital services to support veterans who are facing financial hardship or homelessness, and it provides assistance to veterans and their caregivers.

“And finally, this bill provides $1 trillion in funding to support states and local governments in their response to this pandemic. Many cities and states are seeing their budgets decimated, that’s why the federal government must step up to provide them with the financial relief they need to continue operating, providing essential services, and paying the first responders on the frontlines.

“We are living through an extraordinary crisis. Congress must respond to it with the courageousness it demands – The Heroes Act does exactly that. I urge the Senate to pass this legislation quickly. The health and livelihood of the American people depends on it.”

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