Rep. Payne, Jr. Votes for Fifth Coronavirus Aid Bill

May 15, 2020
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --  Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. was proud to vote for the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act today to support Americans as well as state and local governments during this public health and economic crisis. 

The $3 trillion emergency appropriations bill is the fifth one passed in the last three months to help the country survive the coronavirus global pandemic.  It would provide roughly $1 trillion to state and local governments to help them pay coronavirus-related costs, such as health care services and unemployment benefits.  Also, it includes another $1,200 payment to low and middle-income Americans with a maximum of $6,000 per family, $200 billion in hazard pay to essential workers, and an additional $75 billion to improve the country’s coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and treatments. 

“All Americans are losing loved ones, jobs, health insurance, and their patience,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “The only aid they will get is whatever we provide them.  Government exists to help the country in times of great need and there might never be a greater need in our lifetime than right now.  I hope it receives bipartisan support because our constituents expect us to protect their interests and do the right thing.  This bill is that right thing because it is good for Americans, American businesses, and American workers.” 

In addition, the House bill (H.R. 6800) would extend weekly unemployment benefits of $600 through January of next year, create a $175 billion housing assistance fund to help renters and homeowners pay bills, add another $10 billion to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for small business grants, and close loopholes in the popular Payment Protection Program so funds get to more minority-owned and small businesses with less than 50, and even less than 10, employees.      

Rep. Payne, Jr. voted for four critical appropriations bills to support Americans during this public health crisis already.  The most recent law, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), provided $484 billion to enhance the health and economic security of all Americans, including $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, $75 billion to health care facilities for protective equipment and care, and $25 billion to enhance the country’s coronavirus testing capability.   

The first law, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074), provided $8.3 billion to fund medical efforts.  The second one, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), included free coronavirus testing for Americans and mandatory paid sick leave for workers. The third one, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) authorized more than $2 trillion to Americans in coronavirus aid, including direct payments to low and middle-income workers, increased unemployment benefits, $349 billion to small businesses through grants and interest-free loans, $150 billion to state and local governments to help them handle coronavirus-related expenses, and $200 billion to support America’s hospitals and health care workers. 

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