|WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-6) delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of the updated Heroes Act, a stimulus package to address the health and economic downturn in our country, strengthen food security and ensure safe elections.
As prepared for delivery
“Mr. Speaker, the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis has been working to ensure that our response to this pandemic is effective, efficient, and equitable. The Heroes Act will make this outcome possible.
“The Select Committee has heard from public health experts that testing, tracing, and targeted containment are needed to safely reopen. This bill includes $75 billion for these public health measures.
“We heard from essential workers risking their lives doing their jobs during this pandemic. Mayors of both political parties told us significant federal assistance is needed to prevent sharp cuts to jobs and vital services.
“This bill includes $436 billion for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to support our heroes and those they serve. It protects workers by directing OSHA to issue an effective infection control standard.
“The Select Committee’s investigations have found that PPP and other relief programs need to be improved to reach the most vulnerable businesses. The Heroes Act sets aside funds for the smallest businesses, struggling non-profits, and second loans to the businesses that have suffered the most. The bill assists restaurants and airport concessionaires, who have been especially hard-hit.
“Educators and public health experts advised us on how to safely resume school operations. This legislation provides robust funding to enable schools to educate students while minimizing health risks.
“The current Federal Reserve Chair and his two immediate predecessors told us that Congress must provide additional fiscal support for a strong recovery. This bill extends enhanced unemployment benefits, provides additional direct payments, expands food assistance, and provides housing support.
“Finally, voting rights advocates and infectious disease doctors alike told the Select Committee that to ensure a free, fair, and safe election, we must follow science-based recommendations for expanded mail-in voting, early voting, and polling places. The Heroes Act provides the funds for election administration and the Postal Service needed to safeguard our democracy.
“I always say that if there are five steps between me and an opponent, I will take three if the other side will take two. This bill is a compromise that meets the needs presented to the Select Committee. I urge my Republican colleagues to meet us in the middle and deliver relief to the American people.”