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Engel Statement on House Passage of the HEROES Act

Engel Statement on House Passage of the HEROES Act

Congressman Eliot L. Engel issued the following statement today after the House voted to pass the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act:

“New York has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. The folks in my district in particular have been hit extremely hard, and as a Member of Congress it’s my job to ensure the federal response in Washington matches the gravity of the moment. I’ve worked tirelessly to help my constituents and bring as many resources as I can back to the Bronx and Westchester, including about $5 billion for hard hit New York hospitals and $76 million for New York community health centers. With today’s vote, the House has made clear its commitment to helping the heroes of this pandemic and our state even further. 

“The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which I voted for and helped pass today, finally makes whole our state and local governments with close to $34 billion in federal funding for New York and an additional $32 billion for local assistance. It provides billions in hazard pay for the brave frontline workers who have kept us going through the crisis, and allocates billions more for the three T’s: testing, tracing, and treatment, which are the keys to reviving our economy. 

“The bill also includes provisions I specifically requested and authored, including an additional $5 billion in education funding for New York to help prevent layoffs and program cuts, and my legislation to protect the medical supply chain, the Safeguarding Therapeutics Act, as well as increased Medicaid payments for safety-net New York hospitals. What’s more, New York will benefit greatly from a repeal of the caps on State and Local Taxes (SALT) deductions, something I have fought hard for since the GOP Tax Scam passed 3 years ago, which is also included in our bill. 

“All of this in addition to $175 billion in housing aid—including the $100 billion in rental assistance that I called for—extended unemployment benefits through January 2021, more direct stimulus payments to Americans who are trying to make ends meet, a 15 percent increase in SNAP funding, and $100 billion more in funding for hospitals. The Post Office, barely scraping by thanks to the indifference of the White House, also gets a $25 billion cash infusion just in time for our state’s expanded absentee ballot program. 

“Of course, this now hinges on the Senate taking action. Mitch McConnell has made clear he is in no rush to act. His lack of urgency is a disgrace, but I believe our actions today may very well help move the ball forward in spite of him. Senator McConnell may be fine letting his constituents suffer under the weight of a global pandemic; I am not.”