Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33) Votes For The Heroes Act, Urgently-Needed Crisis Relief Legislation That Protects Lives and Livelihoods

May 15, 2020
Press Release
Sweeping Legislation Includes Key Provisions from Veasey-led Bill to Bolster Broadband Access

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Veasey (TX-33) voted today on the Heroes Act--legislation to address the continued public health crisis and provide desperately needed support for struggling families and essential workers, with funds for testing and tracing measures, key support for frontline workers and strengthened assistance for the American people. The Heroes Act includes provisions from Veasey-led legislation introduced earlier this week that aims to bolster access to broadband for low-income and minority individuals that are facing unprecedented challenges during the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We cannot pause while so many families across our country are struggling,” said Congressman Veasey (TX-33). “We have a responsibility to do what is necessary now to protect the health and well-being of all of our communities. That is why I am proud to join my colleagues to pass the Heroes Act—legislation that honors the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes and meets the need of the American people today and through the coronavirus crisis.” 

The Heroes Act also includes a $90 billion fund to support state and local public education. This funding will help maintain or restore state and local fiscal support for elementary, secondary and public higher education and can be used to meet a wide range of urgent needs, including summer learning, afterschool programs, distance learning, and emergency financial aid for college students as well as coordination with public health departments to mitigate the spread of disease.

In addition to resources for our state, local, tribal and territorial governments, the Heroes Act provides transformative, far-reaching support to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people and the life of our democracy. The legislation:

  • Provides strong support for our heroes by establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers across the country receive hazard pay.  
  • Commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing and treatment we need in order to have a science-based path to safely reopen our country and helping ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
  • Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
  • Supports small businesses 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.
  • Ensures further support for Texans and all Americans, including for:
    • Health security – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for those without insurance.
    • Workplace security – requiring OSHA to ensure that all workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report problems.
    • Housing security – with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs.
    • Food security – with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.  
  • Protects the life of our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service.