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Pallone Praises House Passage of Updated Heroes Act

Oct 1, 2020
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement tonight praising passage of the updated Heroes Act, which passed on the House Floor by a vote of 214 - 207:  

“Tonight, the House took another bold step in protecting the American people and providing critical assistance during this public health and economic crisis. This legislation builds upon the action the House took in May.

“Many of the provisions from the Energy and Commerce Committee have remained the same in this updated bill, but we did make some important changes based on some of the issues we have faced in recent months.

“This legislation maintains the critical $75 billion for testing, tracing, surveillance and containment. We also added language requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify specific testing strategies to ensure access to testing for racial and ethnic minority populations and medically underserved populations. 

“It also includes $2 billion in new funding to get essential workers the critical protective personal and work equipment they need, and $28 billion in additional funding for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

“The updated Heroes Act also includes new provisions to address insurance companies declining to cover COVID-19 testing and to allow people to receive Affordable Care Act tax credits if they are on unemployment insurance.

“The bill also continues to include important provisions like the supply chain czar, additional funding for state Medicaid programs and ensuring that all COVID-19 treatments and vaccines are free of cost-sharing for patients.

“This legislation also helps families stay connected and ensures that they do not lose critical utility services. It prevents home energy and water service shutoffs, prohibits telephone and broadband service providers from stopping service and provides $12 billion in funding to schools and libraries for distance learning. 

“It is long past time for President Trump and Senate Republicans to recognize the need for this critical legislation. The delays must end. It’s time to finally get this assistance to the American people who are struggling and to crush this pandemic with the resources and support included in this legislation.”