Press Releases

Rep. Frankel Statement on Voting for the Heroes Act

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Washington, May 15, 2020 | comments

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-21) issued the following statement after voting for the Heroes Act, which passed the House by a vote of 208 to 199. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

 

“As millions of Americans have rightly stayed home to stay safe, our healthcare personnel, police, fire fighters, teachers and other vital workers have been serving in full force, many risking their own lives to save ours. Today, we passed the Heroes Act, sending money to state and local governments in order to support these heroes on the frontlines with the pay they need and deserve to continue keeping our communities safe and healthy,” said Rep. Frankel. “This urgently-needed legislation also commits more resources for testing and contact tracing, puts more money into the pockets of hurting families, and provides funding for vote-by-mail. I urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House and quickly pass this bill.”

 

An analysis prepared by the Congressional Research Service estimates that the Heroes Act will provide nearly $26 billion in state funding for the people of Florida, including over $843 million for Palm Beach County and hundreds of millions for our local cities and towns.

 

The Heroes Act also includes a $90 billion fund to support state and local public education, including $5.2 billion for Florida. This funding will help maintain or restore state and local fiscal support for elementary, secondary and public higher education and can be used to meet a wide range of urgent needs, including summer learning, afterschool programs, distance learning, and emergency financial aid for college students as well as coordination with public health departments to mitigate the spread of disease.

 

In addition to resources for our state, local, tribal and territorial governments, the Heroes Act provides transformative, far-reaching support to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people and the life of our democracy.

 

  • Provides strong support for our heroes by establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers across the country receive hazard pay.  
  • 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.
  • Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families 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 Floridians and all Americans, including for:
    • Health security – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges 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. 

 

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