On Thursday night, Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbra, voted to pass an updated version of the HEROES Act. The House passed the bill by a 214-207 vote.
The amended legislation refines House Democrats’ negotiating position to address the needs that have developed since the HEROES Act passed in May. The updated bill totals $2.2 trillion and includes additional relief for unemployed workers, another round of direct payments, support for small businesses by improving the Paycheck Protection Program, and targeted assistance to restaurants, nonprofits and event venues.
More than $300 million would be invested in local governments on the Central Coast, which includes funds to help schools reopen and for childcare, Rep. Carbajal said in a statement.
“I am proud to have voted for four COVID-19 stimulus packages which were signed into law, but it is clear that those bills alone are not enough to truly address the challenges facing our communities. That’s why I voted to pass two additional coronavirus relief bills in the House, which will provide the assistance individuals, families, local governments, and small businesses on the Central Coast urgently need. The Senate cannot continue to sit idly by as Americans continue to suffer,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I remain hopeful a bipartisan compromise will emerge from this package so we can deliver for Americans in need. Lives, jobs, and the future of our economy are on the line.”
The House formerly passed five other relief packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, four of which were signed into law. These include the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, enacted on April 24; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted on March 18; and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, enacted on March 6.
The recently passed bill is a scaled-down version of the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act that was passed in May but was never taken up by the Senate. The Republican-controlled Senate likely won’t vote on the latest version unless an agreement is reached between Democrats and the White House, according to reports.
— Mitchell White