U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) tonight voted in favor of the $2.2 trillion package of stimulus legislation to help beleaguered Americans survive the pandemic and prevent state and local governments from cutting critical resources. The House of Representatives passed the updated Heroes Act (H.R. 925) by a vote of 214-207.
“Americans are suffering. Our nation is burning. Over 205,000 are dead. Millions have contracted this virus and many more are out of work. People need help,” said Rep. Pascrell. “The House voted, again, to put money right into the pockets of Americans. This should have happened months ago. Through it all, Senate Republicans have done nothing – nothing! They just sat on their pause button for over four months. Donald Trump and Republicans under Mitch McConnell do not give a hoot about anyone or anything except their power. Their failures and inaction have led to deaths and economic damage. House Democrats have acted decisively. House Democrats will continue to act.“
This latest stimulus package from House Democrats includes:
New Stimulus Checks – A $1,200 per taxpayer and $500 per dependent (including college students and adult dependents) direct payment;
Earned Income Tax Credit – Expanded eligibility for childless taxpayers; extends the EITC to Puerto Rico and other territories; allows taxpayers to use 2019 earned income to qualify for the credit if 2020 earned income is less.
Child Tax Credit – Fully refundable for 2020 ($4,000 for the two children equaling an additional $1,200 in refund); extended to Puerto Rico and the other territories.
Food Support – An increase in SNAP benefits worth more than $100 a month in most states;
Rental Assistance – For those facing hardship paying rent during the pandemic;
Unemployment Insurance – $600 per week in enhanced Unemployment Insurance benefits;
ACA Premium Subsidy – A parent losing his or her job would immediately be eligible for the maximum health insurance premium subsidy under the Affordable Care Act, a benefit worth an average of $1,386 per month.
SALT – The cap on the deduction for state and local taxes would not apply for 2020.\
Multiemployer pension relief – PBGC’s ability to provide relief to troubled multiemployer plans would be expanded through use of a special partition program.
Grants for firefighters — The legislation provides $500 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) grants for hiring and retaining firefighters, and $500 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) for personal protective equipment, mental health evaluations, training, and infectious disease decontamination.