The Democrats in the House of Representatives have just released the bill text for a $3 trillion coronavirus aid package. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act includes assistance to state and local governments, hazard pay for frontline health care workers, forgiveness of student debt, provisions to assist farmers, protect renters and homeowners from evictions and foreclosures, and extend family and medical leave provisions previously approved by Congress. The HEROES Act includes:
- $500 billion in funding to state governments and $375 billion in funding to local governments to assist with with the fiscal impacts from the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus.
- $1 billion for economic support and recovery in distressed communities by providing financial and technical assistance to CDFIs.
- $10 billion in grants to small businesses that have suffered financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
- $50 million to support beginning farmers and ranchers with financial, operational, and marketing advice in this difficult market.
- $1,200 in direct cash aid to individuals, up to $6,000 per household.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer confirmed that the House of Representatives will meet at 9:00 am this Friday, May 15 to consider the relief package. Votes will continue late into the evening due to safety precautions.
Pelosi and other top Democrats will also push through a House rules change that will allow proxy voting and remote hearings. There had been bipartisan talks between Hoyer and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on the issue, but the two sides haven’t been able to find a compromise. Democrats now say they will move ahead with a rules change anyway.
The House Rule Committee will meet Thursday to approve the plan, which will allow lawmakers to cast votes remotely for colleagues who can’t travel to Washington amid the outbreak.