Rep. Sewell Votes in Favor of the Heroes Act, Releases New Details on Benefits for Alabama’s 7th Congressional District
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) voted in favor of the Heroes Act, House Democrats’ latest legislation to address the continued COVID-19 public health crisis and provide 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. Sewell also released a detailed estimate of the direct benefits that the Heroes Act would provide to Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.
“The coronavirus is not waiting, so Congress must continue to show leadership and act now to provide relief to our communities, workers and families to weather this crisis,” Sewell said. “Not only would this legislation provide Alabama counties and municipalities with much-needed resources, it would also honor the service that our frontline workers by providing them with well-deserved hazard pay, to give them the support they need and deserve to continue to keep our communities fed, safe and healthy during this pandemic.”
“The bill also provides families with a second round of direct payments up to $6,000 per household and extends weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January,” Sewell continued. “These are critically important measures that will provide security and additional support for Alabamians impacted by this pandemic.”
The Heroes Act provides Alabama and local communities on the frontlines of this crisis with robust funding to cover coronavirus-related outlays and revenue loss and pay our health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.
An analysis prepared by the Congressional Research Service estimates that the Heroes Act will provide an estimated $1.6 billion in federal funding for the 7th Congressional District. A town-by-town breakdown of the estimated funding allocations for the 7th District under the Heroes Act is available here.
The Heroes Act also includes a $90 billion fund to support state and local public education, including $1,469,335 for Alabama communities. 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.
- 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 employee retention 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 Alabamians 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.
Video of Sewell on the House floor today urging her colleagues to support the bill is available here.