Press Releases

House Passes Heroes Act with DelBene Provisions to Avoid 60 Million Layoffs, Support Families, Continue Essential Services, and Ramp Up Testing

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Washington, D.C., May 15, 2020 | comments

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its next major piece of urgently-needed legislation to address the COVID-19 outbreak, the Heroes Act (H.R. 6800). This bill will protect American lives and our economy from the devastation of this pandemic.

“The House of Representatives continues to meet this historic crisis with bold action to protect Americans and ward off an economic catastrophe. This bill will make sure workers and families don’t have to choose between paying their rent and feeding their children, that businesses don’t have to choose between paying their workers and paying utilities, and that state and local officials don’t have to choose between paying public health responders and educating our children,” said DelBene. “We have laid out our vision for the next phase of responding to this pandemic, and now I urge the Senate and the Trump administration to come to the table to reach a deal for the people and businesses suffering from this virus. Inaction will only cause greater harm.”

The provisions in this bill that DelBene championed include:

  • Helping Workers Stay Connected to Employers – Expands the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) to cover up to $45,000 of a worker’s salary this year. This will help 60 million Americans remain connected to their paychecks and benefits. Last week, DelBene introduced a bill that would expand the ERTC.
  • Supporting Middle-Class Families and Children – Makes the Child Tax Credit (CTC) fully refundable and increases the amount to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for children under 6), providing more relief to families. Last week, DelBene called for an expansion of the CTC along with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03). The two are the lead sponsors of a bill that would expand the CTC.
  • Providing Funds for Essential Services – Nearly $1 trillion for state, local, and tribal governments for essential services like public health, EMS, firefighters, and schools. From the beginning of this crisis, DelBene has prioritized support for state and local public health and first responders.
  • Expanding Testing and Contact Tracing – An additional $75 billion for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. DelBene has been urging the Trump administration to expand COVID-19 testing, increase the production of testing supplies, and create a national testing strategy.

A full list of Heroes Act provisions that DelBene contributed can be found here.

The text of the Heroes Act 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 House also passed a rule change allowing proxy voting and remote committee hearings. This will allow the House to respond faster as this crisis evolves and ensure lawmakers can provide necessary oversight of the federal COVID-19 response.
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