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Chairman McGovern Brings Updated Heroes Act to the House Floor After Months of Republican Obstruction on COVID Relief

Chairman McGovern Brings Updated Heroes Act to the House Floor After Months of Republican Obstruction on COVID Relief  

Compromise meets Republicans halfway in an attempt to break the logjam and get relief to struggling Americans  
**Video of his remarks is available here**

WASHINGTON, DC — Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) brought an updated $2.2 trillion Heroes Act to the House Floor today in an attempt to strike a compromise with Senate Republicans and finally get struggling Americans badly-needed coronavirus relief. The legislation includes assistance to state, local, territorial and tribal governments; supports testing, tracing and treatment; and restores unemployment benefits while also addressing needs that have arisen since the House passed the original Heroes Act in May.

Excerpts from Chairman McGovern’s remarks are below, video of his full remarks is available here:

“M. Speaker, we are here today because the American people are tired of waiting. It’s been more than four months since this House passed the Hero’s Act in response to the coronavirus pandemic to help our first responders, health care workers, struggling businesses, and local governments.”

“This bill passed this House on May 15th, M. Speaker – May 15th! But what did the Senate do, M. Speaker? Nothing! They apparently couldn’t be bothered to bring this bill up for a vote in over four months. But it took Mitch McConnell roughly 80 minutes after Justice Ginsburg passed away to announce a vote on a Supreme Court nominee. Are you kidding me? Something is wrong here.” 

“More than 205,000 America have lost their lives due to coronavirus. And more than 7 million more have been infected. Millions of people are out of work. Small businesses are struggling and some have had to shut their doors forever. Our economy hasn’t taken a hit like this since the Great Depression. Many families are struggling every day to make ends meet. Kids are going hungry.”

“This pandemic isn’t going to just disappear overnight as the president has suggested. It is going to take a whole-of-government response for quite some time. And that requires Congress to act. The Republicans in the Senate may be able to sleep at night telling the American people to wait and then wait some more while they rubberstamp another judge. But I cannot ask our people, our communities, our small businesses, our workers and their families to wait any longer.”

“No one in this Majority can. Our country is suffering. Our people are in pain.”

“That’s why we have tried over these past four months to strike a fair and commonsense deal with Senate Republicans. But they couldn’t even come to an agreement on a package among themselves – so they just abandoned doing anything at all.”

“Doing nothing is unconscionable. I’m proud that our Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has never given up. She has spoken with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin again and again and again trying to come to an agreement.”

“Her offer to this administration was simple: let’s meet halfway. Let’s take the $3.4 trillion in relief contained in the initial Hero’s Act and reduce it by $1.2 trillion dollars. We would still fund our first responders, and our small businesses and state and local governments. But we would meet Republicans in the middle. We would come down a trillion and they would come up a trillion.”

“That’s called compromise – it’s what you have to do from time to time in divided government. The bill included in this rule, H.R. 8406, reflects that give and take.”

“People are hurting – today. Right now. We all know that. And we all know what it will take to truly do something about it.”

“We have pleaded with the Senate to take this bill up for months.  We have negotiated over and over again. And today, we are back with a compromise proposal.”

“The only question, M. Speaker, is whether my Republican colleagues are finally ready to take yes for an answer. On behalf of the most vulnerable among us, those who are out of work, going hungry, and struggling to get by – I pray the answer is finally yes.”

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