May 26, 2020•Advocacy Matters
Advocacy Matters: The Heroes Act (4th COVID-19 Stimulus Package)
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
The Heroes Act (4th COVID-19 Stimulus Package)
H.R. 6800, The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act
There have 3.5 COVID-19 stimulus packages passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President.
Why do we say 3.5 stimulus packages have been enacted by the Congress and the President? The last package expanded upon the 3rd stimulus package and essentially added money to the Paycheck Protection Program in the CARES Act and increased funding for COVID-19 testing and other health care priorities.
After 3.5 stimulus packages, many important efforts to help people with disabilities, state and local governments, home and community-based services, unemployed, uninsured and low-income Americans are still unaddressed.
The U.S. House of Representatives wanted to take a step in that direction. The House prepared a 4th stimulus response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis in the country.
H.R. 6800 or the Heroes Act is another effort to address unmet needs. The Heroes Act passed the House on May 15th.
Provisions in the bill include: expanded SNAP assistance by 15%, additional unemployment assistance; payments to state, local, tribal and territorial government; an additional direct payment of up to $1,200 per individual; hazard pay to front-line workers; housing assistances fund to help pay rent and mortgages; an additional 10% federal match for home and community-based services; eliminates cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments; and more.
The bill was received in the Senate and placed on the legislative calendar last week.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, has so far rejected calls to bring the Heroes Act to the floor of the Senate for a vote. Senator McConnell has said to various media outlets that only half of the CARES Act money has been spent so far, that there will be another rescue package, and we must be able to measure the impact of what has already been done.
On our website for today’s show, you can find a link to H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act, a summary page about the bill, and a link to the House roll call vote.
#AdvocacyMatters. Check out our website today to learn more about The Heroes Act at www.disabilityrightspa.org.
The advocacy community also needs you to follow the hashtag #WeAreEssential on twitter and encourage everyone you know to tell your story about the importance of home and community-based services. Organizations like The Arc, Center for Public Representation, ASAN, The Epilepsy Foundation, and others put together the hashtag to encourage us to tell our stories about home and community-based services to raise awareness so that we can ensure adequate funding for our services and our frontline workers can receive hazard pay.
U.S. House of Representatives, Roll Call Vote
The Heroes Act on May 15, 2020