Rep. Tlaib Statement on Passage of Heroes Act

May 15, 2020
Press Release
House Democrats’ relief bill would deliver nearly $10 billion for Michigan and 13th District municipalities in 2020, prohibits water shutoffs and mandates reconnections

WASHINGTON, DC— On Friday, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) released the following statement following the House of Representatives’ passage of the fourth coronavirus response bill, the Heroes Act (H.R. 6800), which will now head to the Senate:   

 

“After nearly 86,000 lives lost, over 1.4 million confirmed cases, over 36 million unemployment claims, and nearly three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the passage of the Heroes Act advances many critical priorities for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, the third poorest and one of the hardest hit districts in the country. I am particularly proud that several provisions in this bill are ones I worked with House leadership to include, and they will provide direct relief to Detroit and Wayne County communities.

“Prior to this crisis, one in twenty households in my district had experienced a water shutoff and thousands in my district alone still can't wash their hands. The Heroes Act guarantees access to water during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill prohibits water shutoffs, mandates reconnections, and authorizes $1.5 billion in grants to help low-income households pay their bills. I am proud that we pushed for water to be a human right and took a bold step to fight the structural racism of water shutoffs. No person deserves to die from this virus because they are too poor to pay for water.

“Our local governments are too important to fail. Without federal support, they risk major layoffs, service reductions, and insolvency for years to come. The Heroes Act contains money for every state and local government in the country. The bill would deliver nearly $10 billion to the State of Michigan and the municipalities of the 13th Congressional District in 2020 and roughly $7.3 billion in 2021, which would enable them to pay the frontline workers who keep us safe and prevent cuts to services that would harm us all.

“The Heroes Act also delivers on these key priorities for our district that will help keep us safe, healthy, connected, and financially stable:

  • Provides $25 billion and a $10 billion line of credit to save the United States Postal Service and continue its essential services in our communities.
  • Establishes a $200 billion Heroes’ Fund to ensure frontline workers receive the hazard pay their sacrifices have earned them.
  • Provides $75 billion for the testing, tracing, and treatment needed to help ensure that every American has a fighting chance to protect themselves and their loved ones from the spread of this life-threatening illness, especially in Wayne County where there have been a staggering 18,770 confirmed cases and 23.7% of our neighbors live below the poverty line.
  • Extends weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January for the over one million Michiganders who have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began.
  • For those struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, the legislation allocates $175 billion to assist renters and homeowners to keep a roof over their heads through this crisis and extends prohibitions on eviction and foreclosure.
  • Dedicates more than $100 million for Michigan to conduct safe and secure elections during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I want to be clear that despite all the good that the Heroes Act does, the lack of recurring, direct payments to our constituents will continue to produce the disparate impacts we are seeing in our communities, especially for many of our residents experiencing poverty and lacking access to bank accounts or credit cards. I will continue fighting to include monthly, direct payments to everyone in this country in any final agreement and in the next piece of coronavirus legislation, because the most important thing we can do right now is put money in our neighbors’ pockets.

“Now it is time for Senate Republicans to find the urgency they had for bailing out rich corporations for the American people and pass the Heroes Act. I know my residents cannot afford to wait for additional relief, and I’m going to continue raising hell until they get what they deserve.”