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What is the Heroes Act?

I've been speaking with constituents from across our district over the last few weeks and everyone seems to agree: we need big, bold ideas to save our economy, keep people healthy, and get our country on a path towards recovery. Here are the facts:

  • Upwards of 90,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, a number destined to rise with more than 1.5 million confirmed cases.
  • 133 million initial unemployment claims in the past seven weeks, with the April jobs report showing the highest national unemployment rate since the Great Depression.

We need action, now.

Last week, I brought bold, urgently-needed legislation to continue responding to the coronavirus crisis to the House floor – all grounded in common sense:

1. Reopening in a safe, responsible way.

That means a science-based path to safely reopen the country with tens of billions for testing, tracing, and treatment. We need a clear strategy of testing, tracing, and treatment.

2. Immediate action to help families who are experiencing food insecurity.

Food pantries have seen a substantial increase in people in need – many families for the first time ever. While nonprofits are doing an amazing job, they are struggling to keep up with demand. We need to:

  • boost SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent, increase the minimum monthly benefits from $16 to $30.
  • suspend the Trump Administration's rules that undermine benefits.
  • enact Chef Jose Andres' idea last week to help increase federal support to cities and states for buying food and paying restaurants to cook it for vulnerable families.

3. Honor our heroes by providing nearly $1 trillion to state and local governments.

Government agencies need to pay first responders, health workers, and teachers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs during this public health emergency.

4. A second round of expanded economic impact payments, vastly strengthened Unemployment Insurance, new payroll protection measures.

We need to get funds into the hands of our states, counties, cities, communities, families, and individuals before their bank accounts run dry. That means keeping workers connected to jobs and paychecks, providing critical fixes to bolster the Paycheck Protection Program, and other truly life-or-death protections for health security, workplace security, housing security, and food security.

I don't know what Mitch McConnell or President Trump will do – but they should get this bill signed into law in a bipartisan way.

Posted on May 22, 2020.

Meet Jim

Jim McGovern represents the 2nd District of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has earned a national reputation as a tireless advocate for his district and as a champion for food security, human rights, campaign finance reform, social justice and peace.

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