Rep. Rouda Votes to Pass The Heroes Act
Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Harley Rouda (CA-48) voted to pass The Heroes Act, a package that provides urgent relief action to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people.
"The Heroes Act seeks to address America's worst-case coronavirus scenario," said Rouda. "Bipartisan architects of the 2008 relief package, and even the Federal Reserve Chairman appointed by President Trump, recognize Congress must spend now to avoid long-term economic disaster. This bill's nearly $3 trillion price-tag, only $1 trillion more than the 2017 Republican tax bill, helps working families and small businesses survive the coronavirus crisis. It provides the dollars necessary to meet this unprecedented moment — however, The Heroes Act is not without flaws."
"It is my hope that the agencies and assistance programs outlined in The Heroes Act will not find it necessary to utilize the full amount appropriated to them, leaving taxpayer dollars in the hands of the Treasury. However, if the severity of the coronavirus crisis persists or worsens, America must be prepared — inaction is not an option. I strongly encourage the U.S. Senate to join us in our work to protect millions of Americans, like our brave first responders. A pandemic is not the time for partisan games."
"For weeks, I have pushed for direct funding to local governments — which was left out of past packages, per Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's request. I am proud The Heroes Act reflects my requests, and includes $375 billion to our local cities and counties to ensure firefighters, police officers, first responders, and teachers are paid throughout the coronavirus crisis. California contributes more funding to the federal government than it gets in return. It's time our cities and local governments receive the assistance they paid for in hard-earned taxpayer dollars."
"For those who can work in a modified fashion, The Heroes Act protects payrolls and supports small businesses and nonprofits by strengthening the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It also makes several crucial changes that I requested regarding eligibility, clarity, and flexibility, ensuring more small businesses can utilize PPP funds. Orange County small businesses are still applying for PPP loans in droves and desperately need this additional funding to survive the coronavirus crisis. This package also funds the mechanisms required to open our economy as quickly as possible — testing, tracing, treatment, and worker safety measures."
"For those who have lost their jobs, The Heroes Act strengthens assistance programs and addresses food insecurity. It also ensures that Americans can receive interim health care coverage during the pandemic. However, there are still glaring inequities when it comes to unemployment insurance. Many Americans who earn income through non-traditional employment structures are still left in the cold, while part-time workers can collect more than their previous income. It is my hope that these issues will be rectified through Senate negotiations or fixed in future packages."
"The Heroes Act is a bold and pragmatic response to the coronavirus pandemic — putting working families and small businesses first. This package helps residents of Orange County by bolstering the PPP and providing $2.7 billion in local government funding for the County of Orange and cities within California’s 48th congressional district. It also would repeal the cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions in 2020 and 2021, which would provide tax relief for 115,000 families in my district.”
“I will keep working in a bipartisan fashion to advocate for common-sense changes and adaptations to this package and future packages to come."
The Heroes Act:
- Provides $2.7 billion in local government funding for the County of Orange and cities within California’s 48th congressional district
- Strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program to provide additional flexibility and certainty to Orange County businesses, and extend eligibility to all nonprofits
- Improves the Employee Retention Tax Credit to help employers keep workers on the payroll
- Supports essential workers by providing hazard pay and improving access to child and family care
- Provides an additional one-time economic impact payment to Orange County families to help put food on the table
- Makes all dependents eligible for the $500 qualifying child amount in the Economic Impact Payments made under the CARES Act
- Appropriates robust funding to assist homeowners, renters, and individuals experiencing homelessness
- Eliminates the cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions for two years
- Ensures coverage of COVID-19 related treatment at no cost to Orange County families
- Funds community-based and mental health initiatives, reimbursement for health care related expenses or lost revenue attributable to the coronavirus, as well as to support testing and contact tracing to monitor and suppress COVID-19 in Orange County
- Prevents water utility shut-offs and provides research funding to investigate links between pollution exposure and the transmission and health outcomes of the coronavirus in environmental justice communities
- Supports the educational needs of school districts and institutions of higher education in response to the coronavirus
- Provides financial support to the essential operations of the U.S. Postal Service
- Ensures access to voting by mail and early voting in federal elections nationwide