Rep. Bera Votes to Provide Urgent Relief to Frontline Health Care Workers and American Families | Congressman Ami Bera

Rep. Bera Votes to Provide Urgent Relief to Frontline Health Care Workers and American Families

May 15, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-07) voted today to provide urgently needed support for frontline health care workers, families, and small businesses. The Heroes Act, which passed the House of Representatives, would provide $900 million in relief funding for Sacramento County and $190 million to cities in CA-07 over the next two years.

“Our country is indebted to our brave frontline health care workers and emergency personnel who continue to courageously put themselves in harm’s way to keep our communities safe and healthy. We have a responsibility to ensure our heroes receive all the support possible, and that’s why I’m proud to vote to get additional resources to them,” said Rep. Bera. “Today’s vote is also an important step in getting our communities back on a path to economic recovery. American families and small businesses have been hit incredibly hard by this pandemic and they need to know that help is on the way.”

The Heroes Act would:

  • Provide strong support for our heroes by sending nearly $1 trillion in funds to state and local governments on the frontlines to pay the health care workers, police officers, firefighters, transportation workers, EMS personnel, teachers and other vital workers who keep us safe every day. The Heroes Act will also establish a $200 billion Heroes’ Fund to ensure that essential workers receive hazard pay.  
  • Put money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families for up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs, and extending the emergency weekly $600 federal unemployment benefits through next January.
  • Support small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities and nonprofits of all types, and offering flexible support to small businesses by providing $10 billion for Covid-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Support housing security with $175 billion in resources to assist renters and homeowners pay for their rent and mortgages, utility payments, and other housing-related costs.
  • Supports 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.

Included in the Heroes Act are Bera-led provisions to increase COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

“Widespread testing and contact tracing are key to ensuring states and communities can safely and confidently reopen. I’m proud that the House voted to include my proposals to get additional testing funds to communities,” said Rep. Bera.

Rep. Bera has been a leader in Congress on calling for the creation of a national testing strategy that includes widespread antibody testing and contact tracing. He sent a letter to Administration on April 8 urging them to address testing shortfalls during the pandemic.