Mucarsel-Powell Urges Republican Senate To Pass Third COVID-19 Stimulus Package To Send Relief To Floridians
Today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), member of the Congressional Coronavirus Task Force, voted to pass the updated $2.2 trillion Heroes Act, which reflects Democrats' attempt to negotiate with Republicans, as well as includes the needs that have developed since the earlier iteration of the Heroes Act was considered.
"Despite the gridlock from DC Republicans, Democrats are working to send relief to real people. This updated Heroes Act is a compromise that includes essential aid to help families and small businesses through this crisis, and addresses needs that have developed over the last four months as the first Heroes Act sat on Mitch McConnell's desk," said Mucarsel-Powell. "The updated bill includes multiple priorities I fought for, including my Ensuring Protection in Childcare Act to keep childcare facilities safe, expanded mobile testing, and lifeline funding for schools to ensure our students can continue their education while maintaining their safety and that of their teachers and staff. It also would send another $1,200 payment to individuals, restore enhanced unemployment for the millions still out of work through no fault of their own, and supports testing, tracing, and treatment efforts to finally contain the spread of this virus. The public health and economic crises have only worsened in my community--it's past time the Republican Senate join us on a compromise, put people over politics, and pass this bill immediately."
Since the first Heroes Act passed in May, Florida has seen over 663,000 new COVID cases and over 12,000 new COVID-related deaths, and more than 1.3 Floridians have applied for COVID-related unemployment.
The updated Heroes Act includes Mucarsel-Powell's provision that had earlier passed through the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to increase FEMA COVID-19 aid and assist states financially with hazard mitigation efforts, such as flood risk reduction and hurricane preparedness. The bill also contains Mucarsel-Powell's Ensuring Protection in Childcare Act, allowing childcare facilities to purchase personal protective equipment and other needed supplies to keep children and staff safe. She also led the charge for critical funding for mobile testing, as well as expanded funding for schools, both of which can be found in the bill.
The bill includes many of the provisions of the original Heroes Act, like state and local funding; testing, tracing, and treatment; an additional round of direct payments; an employee retention credit to help businesses keep employees on the payroll; provisions to protect worker safety; extension of enhanced unemployment payments; housing, food, and health care assistance; and support for our elections, the Census, and the Postal Service.
Additionally, the bill's new provisions include:
Strong support for small businesses, by improving the Paycheck Protection Program to serve the smallest women and minority owned businesses and struggling non-profits, providing hard-hit businesses with second loans, and delivering targeted assistance for the struggling restaurant industry and independent live venue operators;
Additional assistance for airline industry workers, extending the highly successful Payroll Support Program to keep airline industry workers paid; and
More funds to bolster education and child care, with $225 billion for education--including $182 billion for K-12 schools and nearly $39 billion for postsecondary education--and $57 billion to support child care for families.