Urge Congress to pass the HEROES Act to protect and compensate essential workers

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The Heroes Act is an important next step in our country’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, providing compensation and critical health and safety protections for workers.

The bill, HR 6800 (the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act):

  • Provides more direct payments to working people.
  • Extends health care coverage.
  • Provides housing and food benefits.
  • Requires the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from occupational exposure to infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Gives aid for state and local governments, internet service providers, public schools, the U.S. Postal Service, and pension funding relief.
  • Keeps workers on payrolls to avoid mass layoffs.
  • Extends eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to all nonprofits, including labor unions.
  • Extends the CARES Act’s unemployment insurance provisions, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($600 weekly supplement), and Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (13 additional weeks) through January 2021.
  • Provides housing and food benefits.
  • Provides multiemployer pension relief by allowing plans to freeze their zone status for up to two years and smooth investment losses over 30 years, and institutes a special partition program to deal with critically endangered plans without increasing burdens on healthy plans.
  • Provides 100 percent COBRA premium subsidies through January 2021, to allow workers to maintain their employer-sponsored coverage.
  • Provides a second round of direct economic impact payments of $1,200 per family member, and additional $500 per child, with the same phase-out provisions as the CARES Act.

As with any legislation, the HEROES Act is not perfect. In a statement, the AFL-CIO said:

“We would urge Congress to protect mine workers by requiring not only the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) but also the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard on infectious disease.”

TELL CONGRESS TO PASS THE HEROES ACT
Working people are desperate for leaders to put partisanship aside and do what is right for our health, our economy and our country.

The HEROES Act is a major step forward. You can urge your member of Congress to pass it at actionnetwork.org/forms/heroesact.


 

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