House Democrats Introduce the Heroes Act
Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett released the following statement regarding the introduction of The Heroes Act by House Democrats:
"Yesterday the House Democrats introduced a bold and comprehensive coronavirus recovery bill that will meet the challenge this pandemic poses to our nation that will be taken up on the House Floor at the end of this week. The Virgin Islands Government would receive approximately $3 billion if this bill is passed by both chambers and signed into law. The bill includes the following that will protect the lives and livelihoods of Americans (and the Virgin Islands is included):
Honors our heroes, by providing nearly $1 trillion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments who desperately need funds to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.
Establishes a Heroes' Fund for essential workers, with $200 billion to ensure that essential workers who have risked their lives working during the pandemic receive hazard pay.
Provides additional direct payments, cushioning the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis with a second round of more substantial economic impact payments of $1,200 per family member, up to $6,000 per household.
Protects payrolls, by enhancing the new employee retention tax credit that encourages employers to keep employees on payroll, allowing 60 million Americans to remain connected to their paychecks and benefits.
Supports small businesses and nonprofits, 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.
Extends unemployment benefits, ensuring weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January, providing a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed.
Bolsters housing assistance, helping struggling families afford a safe place to live with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs.
Strengthens food security, addressing rising hunger with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.
"My office worked with House committee staff to secure additional funding in the House bill for the Virgin Islands and the other territories. The great working relationship that my office has with House Leadership and the Professional Staff of the authorizing committees was important in making sure the Virgin Islands and our needs were included in this legislation. After passage in the House, the bill will be sent to the Senate where a tremendous amount of negotiation will take place . I am now asking for the Governor and his team of lobbyists in Washington, DC to work with me to lobby the Senate to ensure the provisions important to the Virgin Islands in The Heroes Act are included in the final bill that will be sent to the President and eventually signed into law."