Rep. Sewell votes in favor of the Heroes Act

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) voted in favor of the Heroes Act, House Democrats’ latest legislation to address the continued COVID-19 public health crisis and provide support for struggling families and essential workers.

This legislation also helps with funds for testing and tracing measures, key support for frontline workers, and strengthened assistance for the American people. Sewell also released a detailed estimate of the direct benefits that the Heroes Act would provide to Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

Sewell says the bill will provide families with a second round of payments up to $6,000 per household and extends weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.

She also says “the coronavirus is not waiting,” and adds that Congress needs to continue to show leadership and act now to provide relief to communities, workers, and families during the coronavirus crisis.

“Not only would this legislation provide Alabama counties and municipalities with necessary resources, but it would also honor the service of frontline workers by providing them with hazard pay, to give them the support they need and deserve to continue to keep our communities fed, safe and healthy during this pandemic,” said Sewell.

“These are critically important measures that will provide security and additional support for Alabamians impacted by this pandemic,” Sewell continues.

The Heroes Act provides Alabama and local communities on the frontlines of this crisis with funding to cover coronavirus-related outlay and revenue loss and pay health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vital workers who are on the frontlines and at risk of losing their job, the release states.

A Congressional Research Service analysis estimates that the Heroes Act will provide an estimated $1.6 billion in federal funding for the 7th Congressional District. A town-by-town breakdown of the estimated funding allocations for the 7th District under the Heroes Act is available here.

The Heroes Act also includes a $90 billion fund to support state and local public education, including a little over $1.4 million for Alabama communities. This funding will help maintain or restore state and local financial support for elementary, secondary, and public higher education. It can be used to meet a wide range of urgent needs, including summer learning, afterschool programs, distance learning, and emergency financial aid for college students as well as coordination with public health departments to mitigate the spread of disease.

In addition, the Heroes Act provides transformative, far-reaching support to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people and the life of the U.S. democracy:

  • Provides strong support for heroes by establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers receive hazard pay.  
  • Commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing, and treatment for a science-based path to safely reopen the country and helping ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
  • Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household, new employee retention measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs, and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
  • Supports small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program by providing $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Protects the life of our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service. 
  • Ensures further support for Alabamians and all Americans, including health security, workplace security, housing security, and food security. 

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