In May the House passed, The Heroes Act, a comprehensive coronavirus response bill aimed to meet the challenges the pandemic has caused our nation. Two months later, instead of being put to action to serve the American people, the Heroes Act is stuck in the Senate. Due to the internal discord happening within the Senate, several components of the final deal may not get resolved for days or weeks.
In the video above, Tony Cardenas explains his trip back to Washington and the battle he faces to make sure that the people who need these funds the most will have them as quickly as possible.
Some additional details about the Heroes Act and what is being fought over.
America’s working people face one of the worst job markets in modern history. New graduates are now entering the worst jobs market since the Great Depression, and millions have filed for unemployment nationwide in the last four months. Republicans want to cap weekly unemployment benefits. Mnuchin said that unemployment benefits could get capped at approximately 70% of income, which could imply roughly $200 a week in unemployment benefits for some. However, it’s unclear how Republicans would structure the plan to provide a 70% wage replacement. The $600 per week sum was chosen in the March package because outdated state unemployment systems could not handle processing payouts for 100% of a worker’s previous wages.
The COVID-19 “Heroes Fund,” through which the federal government would provide an additional $13 per hour, up to $25,000, to essential workers is not being considered. The Senate stimulus package expected to include liability protections for employers but exclude hazard pay for essential workers. The American Federation of Government Employees has filed a lawsuit against the federal government.
America’s working families deserve better.