WASHINGTON, DC - The federal government has to do more to in the way of financial assistance to help lift communities, health care providers, workers, and families out of the economic downturn brought on by the spread of COVID-19, Congressman Albio Sires said Friday with his vote in favor of the Heroes Act.

The legislation, introduced by House Democrats, was passed by a vote of 208-199 and now awaits action by the U.S. Senate.

“Americans across the country are suffering from the physical and economic impacts of the coronavirus,” Sires said, adding that he sees the bill as a chance to help those in need. “The Heroes Act seeks to address the challenges so many are struggling with by supporting programs for workers, the unemployed, renters, small businesses, health care systems, and more.”

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Included in the Heroes Act are provisions to provide $1,200 for every individual making less than $75,000 and $1,200 for up to 3 of their qualified dependents; $100 billion in emergency relief for renters; $5 billion for schools and libraries to provide teachers and students with internet services, wi-fi hotspots, and other technical needs; Temporary suspension of payments for all federal student loan borrowers; Up to $10,000 in hazard pay for essential workers making less than $200,000; and a 15% increase to maximum SNAP benefit, including expansion of authorized food items and billions of dollars for nutrition programs that serve adults, women, and children.

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