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DeLauro Statement on The Heroes Act

May 12, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (May 12, 2020) Today, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, released the following statement after House Democrats introduced The Heroes Act, a new coronavirus response package aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19—through testing, contact tracing, and treatments—supporting our frontline workers and all workers, ensuring children and families have economic security throughout the public health crisis, and providing critical funding to our state, local, territorial, and tribal governments

The Heroes Act is a comprehensive coronavirus response package to tackle the biggest public health and economic crisis our country has ever faced, and I am proud to have shaped it in key areas. The issues I have fought for on behalf of working people over the years—including a new national standard for paid sick days and paid family and medical leave, expanding the Child Tax Credit and creating a new Young Child Tax Credit, securing a 15% increase for monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and repealing much of the $135 billion giveaway to hedge fund managers and real estate developers—have become a reality in this bill. By enhancing our nation’s social safety net, The Heroes Act will help protect our workers, our families, our loved ones who have fallen ill, our small businesses, and those who are falling through the cracks and being left behind.”

“I support this legislation, I look forward to passing it quickly, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate and the White House to act with urgency to protect the health and economic security of all Americans.”

Notable additions to the bill that DeLauro fought for include:

  • Expanding paid sick days and family and medical leave to include those who were previously left out, including: healthcare workers, grocery store workers, pharmacy workers, retail and big box workers, and warehouse workers;
  • Expanding the Child Tax Credit—which would reduce child poverty by nearly half—by:
    • including families that have been left behind under the current Child Tax Credit by making it fully refundable;
    • increasing the benefit amount to $3,000 per child; and,
    • creating a new Young Child Tax Credit of $3,600 for children under six years old;
  • A 15% increase in the maximum monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) so working families can keep food on the table;
  • A $200 billion fund to make sure those on the frontlines—healthcare workers, first responders, and all essential workers—receive hazard pay for putting their lives on the line;
  • Nearly $1 trillion for our state local, territorial, and tribal governments to keep frontline workers employed throughout this crisis, given the strain COVID-19 is taking on governments’ revenues;
  • $100 million for OSHA to make sure workers are safe and our federal government can enforce any violations that put their health at risk;
  • A repeal of much of the $135 billion giveaway for hedge fund managers and real estate developers that Republicans snuck into the CARES Act;
  • Language from DeLauro’s bill with Congressman Tom Malinowski, the PPE Act, so Congress is never again left in the dark on what is in the Strategic National Stockpile, as well as accountability measures if the Executive Branch refuses to keep Congress informed;
  • Resources for States, school districts, colleges, and students to meet a wide range of urgent needs, including summer learning, afterschool programs, distance learning, emergency financial aid for college students, as well as for coordination with public health departments to mitigate the spread of disease;
  • A number of improvements to the CARES Act, including strengthening the commitment States must make to education spending; and,
  • Changes to the Payment Protection Program so restaurants have more time to use their loans to pay their workers and safely reopen under the advice of medical professionals— following DeLauro’s testimony to the House Small Business Committee.

DeLauro first introduced paid sick days legislation—the Healthy Families Act—in 2004, as well as paid family and medical leave legislation—the FAMILY Act—in 2013. DeLauro has also worked to expand the Child Tax Credit since March 2003, when she first offered an amendment in the Budget Committee to include all of the children left behind under the current system. She has long-championed the expansion of food stamps, especially in times of crisis. She secured a 13.6% increase to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

A one-page summary of The Heroes Act can be found here. A section-by-section summary of the bill can be found here. And the full text of the bill can be found here.