Dingell-led Priorities Included in House Heroes Act for Coronavirus Response
Provisions Cover Water Shut-offs, Home and Community Based Care for Seniors & People with Disabilities, Help to Pay COBRA Health Care Coverage, Strengthening Domestic Manufacturing, Strong Workplace Safety Standards, Domestic Violence Support, and Help for Local Media
Washington, May 12, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell joined House Democratic Leadership in unveiling the next coronavirus relief package. The Heroes Act is a bold and comprehensive coronavirus response bill that will meet the challenge this pandemic poses to our nation.
Dingell fought for and successfully included many provisions in the Heroes Act to support state and local governments, front-line healthcare workers, and hard-working men and women. Among The Heroes Act provisions Dingell led are:
• Dingell and Tlaib’s the Emergency Water is a Human Right Act, which would prohibit water shutoffs nationwide and provide financial assistance for low-income households to pay for drinking water and wastewater during the COVID-19 national emergency.
• Provisions modeled after Dingell’s Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act. The Heroes Act includes a 10 percent Federal Medical Assistance Percentage increase for certain qualifying activities (e.g. increased pay for home health workers, improved assistive technology for those in need) to promote home and community-based services (HCBS) during the COVID-19 emergency. This is a historic investment in promoting HCBS and long-term care.
• Dingell and Walorski legislation to strengthen the strategic national stockpile, improve the domestic production of personal protective equipment, and improve the federal ability to respond to future disasters and pandemics. The Heroes Act would authorize $500 million per year through FY2023 for a Supply Chain Flexibility Manufacturing pilot program to establish and maintain domestic reserves of critical medical supplies, including PPE, geographically diversify production of medical supplies, and work with distributors to periodically refresh SNS supplies.
• Dingell, Horsford, and Scott legislation to help workers keep job-based health coverage by providing a 100 percent COBRA subsidy to laid-off workers is included in the Heroes Act.
• Dingell and Tlaib pressed to ensure worker safety, by requiring OSHA to issue a strong, enforceable standards and implement infection control plans based on CDC expertise.
• Dingell joined Speier, Fitzpatrick, Moore, Kuster and 86 members to included increased funding for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs including transitional housing assistance, legal assistance for victims, and support for families in the justice system.
• Dingell-led support of local media through the individual physical locations of newspaper publisher groups, radio stations, and TV broadcasters to be eligible for SBA loans.
“Every day, we see the need for more action, more support, and more to combat the coronavirus crisis,” said Dingell. “Months into the crisis, the numbers are devastating. Michigan has been hit harder than most states: 4th in deaths, more than 1 million unemployed, and lives changed forever. We need bold action against this invisible enemy. Testing, Testing, Testing – and contact tracing. Supporting state and local governments who pay police, teachers, fire fighters, EMS, and local public health workers; and establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure essential workers receive hazard pay. Putting money directly into the pockets of hard-working men and women and ensuring all Americans have access to quality healthcare. This is our fight for all Americans.”
The Heroes Act directs coronavirus relief funds to state, county, and local governments, including:
• more than $7.3 billion to the State of Michigan,
• $637,359,158 to Wayne County
• $137,819,920 to Washtenaw County
• And $375,014,083 for localities in or partially in Michigan’s 12th District, (breakdown by city available here)
The text of The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800, is here. A one pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. A resource on the state and local relief provisions is here.
The more than $3 trillion legislation protects the lives and livelihoods of the American people. Among its many provisions, the bill:
• Honors our heroes, by providing nearly $1 trillion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments who desperately need funds to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs
• Establishes a Heroes’ Fund for essential workers, with $200 billion to ensure that essential workers who have risked their lives working during the pandemic receive hazard pay
• Supports testing, tracing and treatment, by providing another $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, ensuring every American can access free coronavirus treatment, and supporting hospitals and providers
• Provides additional direct payments, cushioning the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis with a second round of more substantial economic impact payments of $1,200 per family member, up to $6,000 per household
• Protects payrolls, by enhancing the new employee retention tax credit that encourages employers to keep employees on payroll, allowing 60 million Americans to remain connected to their paychecks and benefits
• Ensures worker safety, by requiring OSHA to issue a strong, enforceable standard within seven days to require all workplaces to develop and implement infection control plans based on CDC expertise, and prevents employers from retaliating against workers who report infection control problems
• Supports small businesses and nonprofits, by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types and responds flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for Covid-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program
• Preserves health coverage, by protecting Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance with COBRA subsidies to maintain their coverage and creating a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for uninsured Americans
• Extends unemployment benefits, ensuring weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January, providing a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed
• Bolsters housing assistance, helping struggling families afford a safe place to live with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs
• Strengthens food security, addressing rising hunger with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table
• Safeguards our democracy, with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service