Press Releases

Trahan Supports Passage of Heroes Act 2.0

ew legislation provides desperately needed assistance to struggling families, local governments, and workers on the brink of losing their jobs

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) cast her vote in favor of the updated Heroes Act coronavirus relief package when it passed on the House floor. This revamped legislation delivers assistance to working families, local governments experiencing budget shortfalls, and workers who will lose their jobs without immediate intervention.

“For months, working families have been struggling to make ends meet while local governments have been dipping into rainy day funds to make sure first responders and emergency workers get paid for their lifesaving efforts. They’re relying on the federal government to step up and do our part to get them through this crisis. The updated Heroes Act is yet another attempt by the House to reach a compromise with the White House and the Republican Senate while still delivering for the families, frontline workers, and small business owners who need urgent assistance the most. Failing to reach an agreement that meets the needs of the American people simply cannot be an option,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan.

The updated version of the Heroes Act addresses needs that have developed or been exacerbated since the House passed an earlier version of the legislation in mid-May and reflects negotiations between Democrats and Republicans. To save lives, livelihoods, and address the needs of the American people, the $2.2 trillion legislation includes:

  • Strong support for small businesses, by improving the Paycheck Protection Program to serve the smallest businesses and struggling nonprofits, providing hard-hit businesses with second loans, and delivering targeted assistance for the struggling restaurant industry and independent live venue operators.
  • More funds to bolster education and child care, with $225 billion for education – including $182 billion for K-12 schools and nearly $39 billion for postsecondary education – and $57 billion to support child care for families.

In addition, it maintains key priorities from the original Heroes Act. Among the bill’s many provisions, it:

  • Honors our heroes, through $436 billion to provide one year’s worth of assistance to state and local governments who desperately need funds to pay emergency workers, including first responders and health workers, who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs because of budget shortfalls.
  • Supports testing, tracing and treatment, through $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, with special attention to the disparities facing communities of color, ensuring every American can access free coronavirus treatment, and supporting hospitals and providers. The updated bill also includes $28 billion for procurement, distribution and education campaigns for a safe and effective vaccine.
  • Provides additional direct payments, cushioning the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis with a more robust second round of economic impact payments of $1,200 per taxpayer and $500 per dependent.
  • Protects payrolls, by enhancing the new employee retention tax credit that encourages employers to keep employees on payroll.
  • 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.
  • Preserves health coverage, protecting Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance by making unemployed Americans automatically receive the maximum ACA subsidy on the exchanges, as well as a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for uninsured Americans.
  • Restores unemployment benefits, ensuring weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January and preventing unemployed workers from exhausting their eligibility, providing a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed, including those connected to the gig-economy.
  • Bolsters housing assistance, helping struggling families afford a safe place to live with tens of billions in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs – preventing homelessness.
  • 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, as well as targeted support for farmers and producers impacted by the crisis.
  • Safeguards our democracy, with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service.