Lowey Floor Remarks on Updated Heroes Act
WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of the updated version of The Heroes Act:
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this updated version of The Heroes Act.
The health and economic catastrophe facing our country continues to cry out for urgent action.
In May, a bipartisan majority in the House passed The Heroes Act to provide critical support for our country to crush the coronavirus so we can protect lives and reopen our economy.
Unfortunately, that legislation has lingered for more than four months as President Trump continues to downplay the severity of this pandemic.
This updated version of The Heroes Act seeks to meet Republicans halfway, while addressing needs that have grown since May.
As Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin continue their negotiations, the House’s consideration of this legislation formalizes this body’s proffer in these negotiations.
To that end, we have updated the earlier version of The Heroes Act by including strengthened support for small businesses, additional assistance for airline industry workers, and more funds for the children – for schools, postsecondary education, and child care.
Near and dear to my heart, we have also added a substantial investment in global public health that will save lives at home and abroad.
Moreover, House Democrats have maintained many of the earlier priorities of The Heroes Act. That includes:
- $436 billion for state, local, territorial and tribal governments to pay vital frontline workers;
- $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures and $28 billion for procurement, distribution and education campaigns for a safe and effective vaccine;
- Additional direct payments to families;
- Strong, enforceable workplace safety standards;
- Changes to preserve healthcare for unemployed Americans;
- An extension of unemployment benefits;
- Housing assistance so renters and homeowners can stay in their homes;
- Food assistance so struggling families can put food on the table; and
- Protections for our democracy, with funding for safe elections, an accurate Census, and the Postal Service.
Mr. Speaker, this legislation represents a compromise that delivers for American families.
Negotiations are continuing, and I ardently hope that we can soon return to this Floor with a bipartisan agreement.
In the meantime, a strong vote tonight will show our will to act and bring us closer to delivering much-needed relief to American families.
I urge support for this critical legislation, and I reserve the balance of my time.