Lowey Statement to Rules on The Heroes Act

May 14, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey today delivered the following remarks to the House Rules Committee in support of an appropriate rule for the House to consider H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act:

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Cole, and Members of the Rules Committee:

More than 84,000 Americans have died, more than 1.4 million have become sick, and more than 36 million have lost their jobs because of coronavirus.

While Congress has taken significant action to address urgent needs stemming from coronavirus, we must do more.

As Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell told us yesterday, “Additional fiscal support could be costly but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery.”

The Heroes Act takes that wisdom to heart. It is the bold and transformative step we need to ensure our nation meets the challenge of the pandemic and the ensuing economic recession.

Much of the bill is in the jurisdiction of other committees, and my fellow Committee Chairs will tell you more how this bill meets the needs of the American people by:

  • Putting money directly in the pockets of workers, including our essential workers;
  • Supporting small businesses and nonprofits; and
  • Further bolstering families, including their health security and workplace security.

However, there is much in the Appropriations division to address the health and economic crisis For the People.

First and foremost, the bill delivers nearly $1 trillion to states and local governments so they can keep our heroes – first responders, health workers, teachers, and other public servants – paid and working for us.

I am incredibly proud that this bill will provide $67 billion to my home state New York, which has been hit so hard by this crisis.

Second, we will only beat this disease with a robust national strategy for testing, tracing and treatment.

In this bill, we build on the CARES Act with an additional $100 billion for the Health Provider Relief Fund and we provide $75 billion for a nationwide testing and contact tracing strategy.

Third, we must meet the challenge that the economic effects of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are having on families.

As a mother and grandmother, I am deeply concerned about the effects of coronavirus on children and their education. We are including $100 billion to support K-12 and higher education systems as they respond to this crisis.

To address rising hunger, this bill funds an expansion of SNAP benefits and other nutrition programs, so that children and families have enough to eat.

Working with the authorizing committees to prevent a housing crisis, we are deploying new funds worth nearly $200 billion to help struggling families make rent or pay their mortgages.

Finally, to stop this crisis from weakening our democracy, we have included funding to hold safe elections, to carry out a fair and accurate Census, and to ensure that the Postal Service can continue safely delivering mail to American households.

Those are just a few of the highlights of this bill. I am so proud of the hard work of so many to ensure that it includes the help so many families, businesses, and communities need.

Mr. Chairman, The Heroes Act will meet the challenges this pandemic poses to our nation. I request an appropriate rule to bring it to the Floor.

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116th Congress