A MESSAGE FROM CONGRESSMAN STENY H. HOYER
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act, additional legislation to help families, small businesses, and communities struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. After previously passing four major pieces of legislation to respond to this crisis, I brought this bill to the Floor on Friday to provide additional assistance.
The Heroes Act takes important steps to put money directly in the pockets of families who need it most by providing additional direct economic impact payments and extending emergency unemployment insurance. Additionally, the legislation provides significant funding to expand testing, contact tracing, and treatment, which are essential to safely reopening the country.
Local governments throughout the Fifth District and our state are struggling economically under the weight of this pandemic. The Heroes Act provides critical resources to ensure state and local governments can keep health care workers, teachers, law enforcement, and first responders on the job. The bill will provide the state of Maryland with $9.31 billion over two years as well as the following amounts to counties in the Fifth District to ensure we can keep our frontline workers on the job:
- Anne Arundel County: $325 million
- Calvert County: $51 million
- Charles County: $91 million
- St. Mary’s County: $63 million
- Prince George’s County: $511 million
In addition, the bill provides our schools with additional resources to respond to this crisis. Maryland will receive $1.4 billion from the Heroes Act, which includes $898 million for K-12 education and $414 million for higher education. This is in addition to funding the state received from the CARES Act, which passed in March.
The Heroes Act also strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program, providing additional relief to small businesses. The bill includes provisions to ensure that loans are provided to smaller and minority-owned businesses.
In addition, the bill provides our state with $67 million in funding to help ensure that we can safely and effectively facilitate our elections and ensure every Marylander can cast their ballot.
Finally, it was extremely cynical of Senate Republicans to refuse to provide the District of Columbia the resources it needs to tackle this pandemic. I'm glad that the Heroes Act ensures the District receives the same consideration for funding as states so that it has the necessary resources to battle this public health crisis.
I will continue to urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up this important legislation immediately. My thoughts continue to be with all Marylanders during this difficult time. I will continue fighting for you and your family, and my staff and I are ready to assist Fifth District constituents.
Steny H. Hoyer