Torres Votes for COVID Support Package
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) today voted in favor of the Heroes Act, a COVID-19 supplemental funding package to support small businesses, workers and families across the country.
Building upon support Congress provided in the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Heroes Act delivers a new round of Economic Impact Payments (up to $1,200 per worker and child; up to $6,000 per family). It also includes funding for state and local governments, which will help pay teachers, firefighters and first responders during the pandemic.
The legislation, which passed 208 to 199, includes key provisions Rep. Torres advocated for:
- Healthcare Worker Support: The Heroes Act includes hazard pay, workplace protections, financial support, PPE and family care support for health care workers.
- Remote Oath Ceremonies: The Heroes Act allows people approved to become U.S. citizens to participate in a remote oath ceremony as in-person ceremonies are suspended from COVID-19.
**Crucially, this will allow vulnerable populations to access benefits that will help them stay healthy and prevent disease spread.
- Economic Impact Payments: The Heroes Act delivers a new round of Economic Impact Payments (up to $1,200 per worker and child; up to $6,000 per family), new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs, and extends weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
- Payroll Protection Program: The Heroes Act ensures PPP payments reach underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types and provides $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Rep. Torres released the following statement:
“As Inland Empire residents fight through this pandemic, I’m committed to delivering federal relief at every opportunity I can,” Rep. Torres said. “While I’m not happy with every component of the Heroes Act, it builds on the support provided by the CARES Act, and adds key investments – including items I called for – that have become essential since the previous package became law. As this process moves forward, I will work with my colleagues to improve the Heroes Act every step of the way.”
Among other things, the Heroes Act:
- 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.
- Provides nearly $1 trillion for state, local, territorial and tribal governments on the frontlines who desperately need funds to pay the health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs. The Heroes Act also will establish a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers receive hazard pay.
- Delivers a second round of direct payments to families of up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs and extends weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
- Strengthens 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 Americans, including for:
- Health security – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA Marketplaces 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.
- Provides new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service.