Rep. Pressley Statement on House Passage of The Heroes Act

May 15, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, following House passage of H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) released the following statement:

“In my district, and across the nation, this pandemic is devastating families and communities. This unprecedented crisis has been exacerbated by a negligent and incompetent administration that has failed to prioritize saving lives and failed to execute a national testing strategy that will help us get ahead of this virus.

“The Heroes Act passed by the House of Representatives today is a step forward and would invest in much needed testing for our communities and offer a lifeline to many families. As part of this package, I fought hard to secure policies that will put people first. The final bill includes historic relief for renters and homeowners and those experiencing homelessness, paid family leave, sick days and hazard pay for our frontline workers, historic investments in our Community Health Centers and much needed aid to States and cities. This bill goes further than past relief packages to provide much needed resources to our most vulnerable communities, including efforts to combat the spread of COVID in prisons and incentivize the release of medically vulnerable incarcerated individuals.

“And for the first time since the COVID-19 crisis began, this relief package centers the needs of our immigrant neighbors, a long-fought battle for so many advocates and organizers in our community. This is a welcome change and we must build on it in every relief package moving forward.

“But I need to be clear where this package came up short. Given the lack of leadership in the Republican controlled Senate and the White House, the House has a responsibility to unequivocally fight for workers and families in America and make significant investments now to ensure a just recovery for all. We need truly bold and comprehensive reforms that will keep workers on payrolls, stem the tide of massive layoffs and get much needed cash into people’s pockets. We had the chance to provide a framework for robust and recurring payments and to make $10,000 in student debt cancellation a reality for 45 million borrowers. Instead, the bill includes a one-time payment that will not cover the growing financial burdens placed on workers and families and at the last-minute narrowed student debt cancellation that excludes millions of borrowers.

“Today we took a step forward. But this crisis is unprecedented. Now is not the time for half measures. I will continue to work to promote the bold policy solutions our communities desperately need to meet the scale of the crisis.”

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