Rep. Rouda Votes to Pass The Heroes Act | Representative Harley Rouda

Rep. Rouda Votes to Pass The Heroes Act

May 15, 2020
Press Release

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: