O’Halleran Votes to Pass New Coronavirus Relief Package
WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) voted to pass a new coronavirus aid package to provide much-needed relief for Arizona families, businesses, and health care facilities that are still coping with COVID-19.
“The American people have waited all summer for the Senate to take up the House-passed Heroes Act and come to the negotiating table to debate and get a deal done. Instead, families have seen partisan games and a lack of tangible action from their elected representatives, leaving them to rely on CARES Act-funded programs and initiatives established all the way back in March,” said O’Halleran. “This is completely unacceptable. In the House, we’ve worked and pushed for compromise on a legislative deal for months, and have now passed a new, updated Heroes Act. The Senate must meet us in the middle.”
From the new package, the state of Arizona stands to receive $3.53 billion and, separately of this fund, cities, towns, counties, and localities in Arizona’s First Congressional District would receive $598,751,463. The legislation also sets aside $9.5 billion specifically for tribal governments.
The new, updated Heroes Act:
· fights COVID-19 by allocating $75 billion for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and isolation measures so that we can tackle this health crisis head on;
o includes $28 billion for procurement, distribution and education campaigns for a safe and effective vaccine; and
o sets aside $2.3 billion to address health care needs related to coronavirus for Native Americans.
· supports our health care heroes by allocating $50 billion for the Provider Relief Fund to aid hospitals and health care facilities that have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic;
· invests in small businesses by improving the Paycheck Protection Program to serve the smallest businesses and struggling non-profits, provide hard-hit businesses with second loans, and expand the Employee Retention Tax Credit to allow employers to keep more people on payroll;
o also delivers direct, targeted assistance to the suffering airline and restaurant industries.
· protects our children by allocating $225 billion for education, including $182 billion for K-12 schools and nearly $39 billion for postsecondary education and setting aside $57 billion to support child care facilities and programs;
· uplifts struggling families by extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through January and issuing an additional $1,200 stimulus check to all qualifying Americans, plus $500 per dependent;
· revitalizes localities and invests in firefighters, police, and essential state and local workers by extending $436 billion in direct assistance to state, local, and tribal governments and fixing a flawed CARES Act funding formula that left out smaller counties and cities from direct financial assistance;
· feeds families by providing $10 billion to support SNAP and allocating additional support for food programs like WIC and area school meals; and
· safeguards our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and fully-funded Postal Service.
A section by section summary of the bill is available, HERE.
The updated Heroes Act is the House’s sixth piece of comprehensive legislation to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation follows the first iteration of The Heroes Act, which passed the House on May 15; the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, enacted on April 24; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted on March 18; and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act enacted on March 6.