Congressman Al Green Votes Yes on Heroes Act 2.0

Oct 1, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – On Thursday, October 1, 2020, Congressman Al Green released the following statement on the passage of the revised Heroes Act:        

“I voted ‘yes’ in the House of Representatives, supporting the revised Heroes Act. This legislation will directly respond to the growing needs of the American people caused by the unprecedented coronavirus crisis. The rent is due, people need food on the table, schools need protective equipment to keep students and teachers safe, businesses are closing, and unemployment remains at an alarming rate. The American people cannot afford to wait any longer for the direct relief assistance this legislation provides,” Congressman Green stated.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman Green has introduced legislation to address several issues impacting communities across our country. Five of these bills are embodied in the updated Heroes Act.

Heroes Act 2.0 Provisions Consistent with Five Bills Introduced by Congressman Al Green

  1. Prioritization of very small businesses for PPP funding; bill sets aside at least 10% of PPP funding designated for businesses with 10 or fewer employees, sole proprietors, and self-employed persons (H.R. 6818)
  2. Provides $25 million for the Minority Business Development Agency (H.R. 6869)
  3. Sets aside $15 billion for MDI and CDFI PPP lenders offering much-needed access to capital to these institutions to originate PPP loans in their communities (H.R. 6476)
  4. Amends the CARES Act to establish a Capital Investment Program for MDIs and CDFIs (H.R. 6868)
  5. $14 million in funding for fair housing enforcement during the pandemic to ensure individuals are protected against housing-related hate crimes and increasing forms of housing discrimination due to the coronavirus crisis (H.R. 6760)

On May 15, 2020, the House passed H.R. 6800, the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act. However, the Senate refused to pass the bill for more than 100 days, even expressing a willingness to allow localities to go bankrupt as they have attempted to stay afloat with dramatically decreased tax revenue. This $2.2 trillion, updated version of the Heroes Act offers a compromise to accommodate the two chambers and the administration.

“On many occasions, I have exclaimed, ‘The rent must be paid NOT delayed.’ A sticking point for the Heroes Act that I have consistently advocated for is rental assistance,” Congressman Green said. “The House passed the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act earlier this summer to provide much-needed assistance to renters in the wake of a looming eviction crisis. This modified version of the Heroes Act provides $50 billion in emergency rental assistance to help low-income renters at risk of homelessness as well as poverty avoid an eventual eviction and an accumulation of debt they are unable to pay due to the economic impact of the pandemic.”

“The revised Heroes Act also includes much-needed provisions consistent with the first version of the bill. During this pandemic, there has been an alarming increase in food insecurity, which has caused a greater demand for nutrition assistance. The Heroes Act 2.0 includes a 15% increase to the maximum SNAP benefit to strengthen food security and alleviate hunger. The new legislation also includes the $600 in weekly unemployment benefits and a second round of economic impact payments. As several school districts across our nation begin to return to in-person instruction, schools need PPE as well as other protective supplies and modifications to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This iteration of the Heroes Act provides $182 billion for K-12 schools – an increase from the $58 billion the first iteration included.”

The Houston-area Congressman concluded by saying, “I have worked diligently with my colleagues in Congress to pursue much-needed solutions for the American people during a time when they should be able to rely on the federal government most. It is my hope that the Senate and this administration are now prepared to push this legislation forward and give the people we all serve the relief assistance they deserve. We must maintain an all-hands-on-deck approach in working to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.”