Rep. Sánchez Votes for Heroes

May 15, 2020
Press Release
Bill passed by House includes several of Sánchez’s provisions

Washington, DC—Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38) said today she was proud to vote for the Heroes Act, which provides support for families and essential workers, with funds for testing and tracing measures, key support for frontline workers, and strengthened assistance for the American people.

“True to its name, this legislation honors those on the frontlines – our health care, first responders, teachers, transit, food, and other essential workers,” said Rep. Sánchez. “More than that, it’s about meeting this challenge with the same grit and vigor that these heroes have.

“This pandemic spotlighted how little we support family caregivers. To right that wrong, the Heroes Act includes provisions I have long championed. This includes faster, flexible state funding to provide dependent care for essential workers; more flexibility for families to set aside pre-tax money for childcare; and the ability for families to virtually communicate with loved ones in nursing homes when they can’t safely visit, or "televisitation."

“The Heroes Act also includes my tax credit bill to ease costs faced by essential workers. These workers are making sacrifices to keep us safe and shouldn’t have to do it all on their own dime. Finally, this bill ensures access to health care for all. The more people who have access to testing and care, the faster we can contain the virus and get America back to work.”

The Heroes Act provides the California government and local communities on the frontlines of this crisis with robust, desperately-needed funding to cover coronavirus-related outlays and revenue loss and pay our health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers, and other vital workers who keep us safe and are in danger of losing their jobs.

The bill includes $375 billion for local jurisdictions, equally divided between county and municipal governments. More than $55 billion of this funding is reserved for municipalities with a population of less than 50,000.

In addition to resources for our state and local governments, the Heroes Act provides transformative, far-reaching support to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people. Rep Sánchez fought for and secured several provisions to be included in the final legislation.

  • Provides strong support for our heroes by establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers across the country receive hazard pay, covering childcare costs for frontline workers, and allowing employers to deduct pandemic-related expenses for employees, such as housing and laundry.
  • Commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing, and treatment we need in order to safely reopen our country and ensures that every American can access free COVID-19 testing, treatment, and immunization.
  • Keeps families connected by ensuring skilled nursing facilities provide a means for residents to conduct “televisitation” with loved ones while in-person visits are not possible during the public health emergency.
  • Looks out for the most vulnerable Americans by providing $10 billion in essential emergency assistance to children, families, and individuals. This includes those who may not receive assistance through other aid.
  • Puts money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs, and an extension of weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
  • Supports small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types, and responds flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Ensures further support for Californians and all Americans, including for:
    • Health security – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for those without insurance.
    • Workplace security – requiring OSHA to ensure that all workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report problems.
    • Housing security – with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments, as well as other housing-related costs.
    • Food security – with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.  
  • Protects the life of our democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserves the Postal Service.