Congressman Cohen Votes for the Heroes Act to Address Coronavirus Pandemic
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) returned to Washington and voted this evening for a $3 trillion measure to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the national economy. The measure contains funding for state and local governments, hospitals, first responders, our health care workers, testing, another round of $1,200 economic impact payments and increased spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), among many other things.
The measure also incorporates provisions Congressman Cohen has been calling for to improve previous bills addressing the pandemic, including the repeal of a tax break for millionaire and billionaire real estate developers and hedge fund managers. It also provides increased Medicaid disproportionate share funding for Tennessee hospitals, increased funding for the Legal Service Corporation to provide assistance to those facing legal problems as a result of the crisis and requires passengers and crews on commercial airlines to wear masks, a policy proposal Congressman Cohen has been championing for weeks with the Federal Aviation Administration, the CDC and the airlines.
The vote on passage of the Heroes Act was 208 to 199.
After the vote, Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
“Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. I’m proud to support the critical provisions that will protect the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans sickened and thrown out of work by this wrenching public health emergency. I’m proud to have helped shape important policies that will support Memphis hospitals and protect Americans. These are difficult days but we will get through them together.”
Earlier Friday, Congressman Cohen spoke from the House floor in favor of a rules change permitting proxy voting by Members of Congress. In his speech, he noted that some Members, such as his hero, John Lewis of Georgia, are too ill to be risking their lives traveling to a hotspot like Washington, D.C., which is still under mandatory lockdown. See that speech here.
The vote on passage of the proxy voting measure was 217 to 189.