Doyle Supports The Heroes Act

May 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC –  U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-18) made the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act, legislation that would provide $3 trillion in federal assistance for households, small businesses, and state and local governments. 

“The Heroes Act is the response America needs now to address the economic impact of the coronavirus,” Congressman Doyle said. “I voted for the Heroes Act because I believe this bill will provide much-needed support to those who need it while we strive to return to a more normal life. I believe that we’d end up paying more in the long run – in money, in jobs, and in lives – if we don’t address this pandemic with an effective response up front.”

“I don’t think we can do enough to thank and support our frontline workers, but the Heroes Act is a good start. Our health care workers, police, fire, transportation, teachers, and other essential workers have been tackling the challenges of COVID-19 head-on. They have been selflessly protecting and serving our communities at the risk of their own health. And now, many of these heroes could be at risk of losing their jobs as state budgets plunge further into the red. This bill provides funding to state and local governments when they desperately need it – and it establishes a Heroes’ fund to provide hazard pay for our essential workers.”

“More than 30 million workers are unemployed, and many families are struggling to make ends meet. This bill does right by working families, putting additional direct payments in their pockets, extending the $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits into next year, creating a special enrollment period to help those who lost their health insurance when they lost their job access affordable healthcare, assisting renters and homeowners with their housing payments, and helping many to put more food on the table with bigger SNAP benefits.”

“The Heroes Act would strengthen the Payroll Protection Program that has helped many small businesses in Pittsburgh, and it would make it available to help nonprofits of all sizes. It  would also provide additional funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which has more qualified applicants than it can help at this point.”

“I know many workers and businesses are itching to return to their normal lives, but any efforts to reopen must be accompanied by adequate testing, tracing, and treatment. The Heroes Act would provide much-needed additional funding for testing, tracing, and treatment so we can safely reopen our economy.”

“Finally, I’m pleased that the Heroes Act contains provisions that I have fought long and hard for - such as those that would close the digital divide, protect the right to vote, help individuals with disabilities, and protect workers’ rights.”

“I support the Heroes Act because I believe it meets the urgency of this moment and lays the groundwork for what we want to come.”

The Heroes Act would provide $1 trillion for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to support their efforts to combat COVID-19 and protect the jobs of essential workers as funding runs out - $500 billion for state governments, $375 billion for local governments, $20 billion for tribal governments, and $20 billion for the territories.

The Heroes Act would provide additional direct payments to American households, consisting of $1,200 for each adult and child in a household, with a maximum payment of $6,000. This bill would extend eligibility for these payments to households with dependents 17-year-old or older. It would also extend the additional $600 in unemployment compensation provided through July in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through January 31, 2020. 

The bill would also help unemployed workers by creating a special Affordable Care Act enrollment period for health insurance - and helping to cover costs under COBRA - for people who have lost their jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic.

This bill would provide funding for programs that help Americans with financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill includes $100 billion in assistance to low-income households for rent costs – and $75 billion in assistance to households having trouble paying their mortgages. This bill also provides $14 billion in additional food and nutrition assistance, including a 15% increase in the maximum SNAP benefit and nearly doubling the minimum monthly SNAP benefit from $16 to $30. It also provides an additional $150 million for  The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to help local food banks meet the great need in their communities.

The Heroes Act would provide $290 billion in tax credits for expenses that businesses incurred during and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of this amount would go to increase the size of the employee retention tax credit created in the CARES Act to encourage employers to keep their employees on payroll while the businesses are shutdown.

This bill would extend the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program to reach very small businesses and creates a set-aside of existing funds specifically for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Development Institutions (MDIs), SBA microlenders, and SBA Certified Development Companies. It would also provide an additional $10 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant program.

This bill would include an additional $75 billion to public health departments and workforce agencies to support testing and contact tracing, and it ensures that every American can access free COVID-19 treatment. It provides an additional $100 billion for the Health Care Provider Relief Fund.

It would also provide $150 million to assist states in managing outbreaks of COVID-19 in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, strengthen Medicaid, make improvements to the management of the Strategic National Stockpile, and enhance vaccine manufacturing capacity. 

This bill would require OSHA to issue temporary and permanent enforceable standards for infection control plans in workplaces. It would also prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who report infection control problems in their workplaces.

This bill includes $3.6 billion to ensure that voters can exercise their right to vote safely.

Finally, the Heroes Act would provide $1.5 billion to expand access to remote learning and $4 billion to ensure that families do not lose access to broadband during the pandemic. 

Congressman Doyle voted in favor of H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act, as it passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 208 to 199.

Click here for text of the bill.