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Neal touts Heroes Act, which includes another round of stimulus

May 14, 2020
In The News

SPRINGFIELD- Congressman Richard E. Neal spoke outside of Springfield’s District Court May 13 about the COVID-19 Heroes Act that is expected to be voted on Friday.

Neal, who is the Democratic Chair of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, said that Massachusetts should receive about $22.5 billion from this bill should it pass both chambers of Congress. 

“The state and local assistance is really about making sure that those first responders: Fire, police, sanitation workers, nurses, doctors, and others have the necessary protections as we find ourselves still in the midst of this pandemic,” said Neal.

He said that $100 billion from the bill will be directed towards hospitals as well as more money to test people for COVID-19. It also includes more than $1 trillion in aid for local governments. The bill would provide a total of $3 trillion in spending to mitigate the pandemic. 

The bill would provide another round of $1,200 stimulus checks. A single household would be able to receive up to $6,000. 

The bill aims to change some of the shortcomings of the previous round of stimulus checks. This includes making sure that college students, non-child dependents, and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Filers receive checks. 

“This should not be a partisan issue,” said Neal, “I had a conference call with the United States Conference of Mayors a week ago. Republican mayors as well as Democratic mayors were supportive of the contours of the proposal that we formally offered in the last 24 hours.”

As of Thursday morning, more than 36 million Americans had filed for unemployment since the beginning of the pandemic, bringing the unemployment rate to record levels. 

Neal indicated confidence that the bill would pass the Republican controlled Senate after passing through the Democrat controlled House on Friday, despite rhetoric from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

“We are better off investing now, trying to stem the tide of the disease rather than waiting too long when the problem becomes far worse,” said Neal, “I understand that this is a document of negotiation, but I also would point out that while Senator [Mitch] McConnell has repeatedly said that this is a non-starter in the Senate, he has said that in the previous rounds of negotiations as well.”

Neal pointed out that the Senate passed the previous three rounds of aid unanimously.

The full text of the Heroes Act can be viewed here.