Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Statement on Vote in Support of The Heroes Act To Address Public Health and Economic Impacts of COVID-19

Washington, May 15, 2020 | Rocio Cruz

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) made the following statement in support of H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act, legislation to address the continued public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Heroes Act incorporates two bills Congresswoman Fletcher filed to support hospitals and small businesses as well as critical funding for testing, tracing, and treating COVID-19; support for frontline workers; additional financial assistance for Americans; and essential funding for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments.  The House of Representatives is expected to vote on final passage later today. 

“The magnitude of this crisis and the profound impacts across our communities require us to do all we can to bring thoughtful, targeted legislation forward to protect the lives and livelihoods of Americans,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “As we work to move forward, we know there is tremendous need, and that we have the opportunity to take action to respond to the needs of my constituents in Houston and Harris County, to support local governments that are providing critical services while balancing dramatic revenue shortfalls, and protect and support those who are putting their lives on the line for all of us each day.

“As we work together across our community to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, I have been talking with our elected officials, public health officials, business and community leaders, health care providers, business owners, and so many individuals about how they have been affected and how I can help.

The Heroes Act addresses so many of those needs.  It will provide critical relief directly to local governments and to people who have lost income but still have many obligations they must meet.  It supports our small businesses and makes critical improvements to the SBA loan programs that many constituents have asked me to help enact.  It gets additional assistance directly to families.  And it ensures that we can begin to re-engage and re-open our businesses and public places by ensuring we have funding and a program to test, trace, and treat this virus.  

“It includes two bills that I filed: one to protect hospitals from Medicaid cuts and one to ensure small businesses that take out PPP loans can make routine deductions.  I am glad to see them included, and know they will bring meaningful relief in my district and across the country.

“I will vote in favor of this important legislation, and I will continue to partner with our community and bring our ideas from Texas’ Seventh Congressional District to the Congress—to help our community and all Americans.”

Among its provisions, The Heroes Act:  

  • Commits $75 billion for the testing, tracing, and treatment of COVID-19 to implement a science-based path to safely reopen our country and helping ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
  • Provides critical funding for state and local governments to pay for the increased expenses of COVID-19 and to make up for the revenue shortfalls that are a result of the pandemic – funding pay the health care workers, police, fire, emergency medical personnel, sanitation workers, teachers and other vital workers who are keeping us safe and keeping our community running.  The Heroes Act will also establish a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers receive hazard pay.  
  • Puts money in the pockets of families with a second round of direct payments of up to $6,000 per household (including additional dependents), new payroll protection measures, and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
  • Supports small businesses by strengthening the Paycheck Protection Program, extending relevant deadlines for use of the funds and repayment of the loans, reaching underserved communities and including nonprofit organizations of all sizes and types, and adding grant funding to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Provides common-sense protections for Americans, including for:
    • Health security — with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for those without insurance
    • 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.  
    • Workplace security – requiring OSHA to ensure that workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and protect those who report problems.
  • Provides new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service.