Press Releases

Houlahan Passes Heroes Act

Votes to send money to states, support small businesses and expand testing

Washington, May 15, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) voted to pass The Heroes Act. She issued the following statement:

“Today, I voted to pass the Heroes Act through the House of Representatives,” said Houlahan. “The Senate has shown no sense of urgency to move forward on additional relief for Americans struggling with the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, and this bill serves as a starting point for those negotiations. We need the American people to help build pressure on Senator McConnell and his colleagues to come to the table with us to craft a bill that can pass both chambers and be signed into law. The virus has not abated in our communities, and we need a national strategy to safely reopen our economy.

“This bill includes a wide range of priorities important to my community and several bills that I was proud to help lead:

*I led the effort to ensure that the 50,000 seniors on Medicare Advantage in Chester and Berks counties won’t see higher costs due to COVID-19.

*I helped craft amendments to the Defense Production Act after hearing from members of our community that had shipments of PPE diverted by the Federal government at the last minute. I ensured this bill includes a requirement for the Federal government to notify and work with state and local governments to replace any shipment of critical medical supplies that is diverted.

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The bill includes $500 billion for state and $375 billion for local governments, helping to replace lost revenue and make them whole for money spent on COVID-19 response. This has been a major priority for Governor Wolf and the leadership of Chester and Berks counties.

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The small business section includes many items that I advocated for after hearing from small business owners in my community: a carve out for micro-businesses, greater flexibility for PPP forgiveness and better transparency and reporting.

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The bill requires the CDC to develop a comprehensive, national strategy to provide diagnostic and serologic testing, contact tracing, and recovery. This will better enable our communities to safely reopen and get back to work without risking another wave of infections.

“Beyond these things, the bill includes funding for hazard pay and childcare for our frontline workers, expansion of high speed internet to help our families working and studying virtually, assistance for our dairy and specialty crop producers who are struggling, funding for safe and secure elections, support to the U.S. Postal Service and much more.

“While there is a lot of good in this bill, I cast my vote knowing that it is imperfect. For example, it authorizes another round of economic stimulus payments knowing full well that the IRS rollout of the first round has been rocky and frustrating for millions of Americans still wondering when their first payment will arrive. I am disappointed that the bill does not include any role for national service volunteers, like AmeriCorps, to play a greater role in the recovery. The bill also includes worthy priorities that are not necessarily relevant to the crisis at hand. Finally, I am concerned about the cost. As a former business leader, I know that sometimes you have to invest on the front end to achieve an outcome later. We will likely need much, much more relief as this crisis continues and even when we begin to recover, but we must also be mindful of the long-term costs.

 

 

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She’s in her first term representing Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Small Business Committee.

 

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