Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Rep. Jared Huffman (D-California)
Posted: May 17, 2020

Yesterday, I flew back to Washington D.C. to vote on two historic pieces of legislation to get relief to Americans and ensure Congress can act and exercise its responsibilities during this crisis. We have not seen a catastrophe like this in over a century, and that requires extraordinary measures to protect this country and save lives.  
I won’t sugar coat this – I don’t anticipate this crisis ending any time soon. I believe it will require unprecedented federal response, and Congress has a responsibility to make sure families, small businesses, and states and cities have the relief they need to weather the long road ahead. 

This dire situation shows the urgent need for a bold legislative package that is equal to the crisis gripping our nation. Today, we passed a bill that I feel better reflects the priorities of my constituents and my sense of what we need to do to meet this immense challenge. 
That is why House Democrats have voted to pass bold, far-reaching legislation that will protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people and the life of our democracy – responding to the pandemic and the economic catastrophe that has followed: 

  • Commits another $75 billion for the testing, tracing and treatment we need in order to have a science-based path to safely reopen our country and helping to secure access to free coronavirus treatment for every American. 
  • Provides strong support for our heroes with nearly $1 trillion for state, local, territorial and tribal governments on the frontlines who desperately need funds to pay the 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 Heroes Act will also establish a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers receive hazard pay.   
  • 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 extending 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 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 and 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 preserve the Postal Service. 

This bill doesn’t include everything I want to see, but it will get relief to tribal, state, and local governments and hospitals and give lifeline support for folks that desperately need it. I know that much more needs to be done, and I will keep working to ensure we put people first and secure the relief needed to protect American lives and revive our economy. 
If you would like to keep up with the work I am doing as your representative, please subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. As I continue my important work for the people of California’s Second District, please don’t hesitate to contact my office for assistance if you are in need. You can find your local district office contact on my website here
Thank you, and stay well, 
Jared Huffman 
Member of Congress

Join the Conversation