Congressman Cohen Votes for Updated Heroes Act

October 1, 2020
Press Release
Measure contains many priorities important to Memphis

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) tonight voted for the updated Heroes Act, which contains many of the provisions he has fought hard to have included in the measure addressing our ongoing health and economic catastrophe to protect lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy. The $2.2 trillion measure is a scaled down version of the Heroes Act the House passed on May 15 but which the Senate has so far failed to consider.

Tonight’s vote on passage was 214 to 207.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“The updated Heroes Act addresses critical needs caused by the ongoing pandemic and I’m proud to support it because it directly helps my constituents. This measure restores the $600 federal supplement to state unemployment benefits, provides another $1,200 economic impact payment to individuals and $500 for their dependents, makes major investments in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, as well as hospitals, community health centers, public schools, and transit systems. I am particularly pleased that it establishes a $120 billion grant program for restaurants and includes the Save Our Stages Act, assisting entertainment venues, both of which I sought; increases SNAP payments and waives work requirements for a year; suspends TANF work requirements through January; and offers substantial rental assistance and a 12-month eviction moratorium.

“My Congressional colleagues and I have been pressing our leaders to repeal an obscene $135 billion ‘pass through’ tax break for millionaires and billionaires surreptitiously slipped into the CARES Act in March, and that repeal provision has been included in this Heroes bill. It also excludes publicly traded entities and foreign-owned businesses from participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It also extends the Payroll Support Program for airlines, including $25 billion for commercial airlines and $300 million for cargo airlines like FedEx.

“As the election nears, the measure also provides $3.6 billion in election assistance grants.”

The updated Heroes Act also provides:

  • Expansion of vaccine manufacturing capacity
  • $54 million for Disproportionate Share Hospitals in Tennessee
  • $15 billion for the postal service;
  • Enhanced employee retention tax credits; and
  • $100 million for the Legal Services Corporation

The measure does not include a corporate immunity provision.

Congressman Cohen addressed one element in the bill in a floor speech this afternoon. See those remarks here.