Congressman Davis Statement in Support of H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act
Once again, the persistent disparities in our society, our physical well-being, and our economy have emerged with brutal clarity under the impact of the coronavirus. The pandemic’s devastation on the least secure is widespread across multiple facets of life and profound in impact.
In the 7th Congressional District almost one-third of children live in poverty, almost one-fifth of adults have income below the poverty level, and one-quarter taxfilers are low-income working parents. The pandemic and national crisis have exacerbated income inequality, hunger, and housing insecurity; in addition, the African American and Latinx communities have suffered disproportionate coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
I strongly support the Heroes Act because it targets significant emergency assistance to improve well-being and help meet basic needs of some of those who are hardest hit by the pandemic. It is designed to get this critical aid to the local level quickly, prioritizing people who may not be receiving other help and entities with demonstrated success in helping individuals most in need.
I strongly support these policies providing critical benefits including:
- A second round of more generous direct payments - up to $6,000 per family - to help individuals and families pay for food and housing;
- Extension of the $600 federal unemployment payments through January 2021 recognizing that workers will face a job market unlike anything our country has experienced;
- Nearly $1trillion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments to pay for vital workers like first responders, health workers and teachers who are in danger of losing their jobs;
- Modernization of key work and child tax credits to improve the economic well-being, reduce poverty, and increase labor-fore participation of millions of workers;
- $850 million for child and family care for essential workers;
- $100 million to strengthen vulnerable children and families via home visiting;
- Substantial investment in public health via coverage for people, help for physicians and hospitals, and free treatment;
- Stabilization of multiemployer and single employer pension plans to protect retirees;
- Food security and housing assistance;
- Small business assistance and help for non-profits;
- Support for Native American tribes and veterans;
- Ensure safe elections, an accurate Census and preservation of the Postal Service.
This bill includes legislation that I have introduced – the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers, foster youth, and homeless youth; the modernization of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit; investments in family care for essential workers and home visiting to support vulnerable children and families; assistance for foster youth; and the protection of vulnerable students from tax bills from emergency education grants.
This is an expansive bill; but it is what is required to meet the unprecedented challenge affecting everyone in our country. The last hearing that I chaired before we began remote working focused on reducing child poverty. We must not lose sight of that goal. We know how pernicious and devastating childhood poverty is. I am proud that this bill advances policies to reduce child poverty and strengthen the economic well-being of families. I am proud that this bill invests in strengthening our communities and businesses so that we can all come out of this crisis stronger. This is an historic bill, and I urge my colleagues to support the bill.