Cicilline, Colleagues Urge Senate to Take Up Heroes Act

Thursday, May 21, 2020

PAWTUCKET – Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01) hosted a virtual press conference today to urge that the United States Senate bring up the Heroes Act, legislation that will provide $5.3 billion to Rhode Island, keep first responders and health care workers in their jobs, strengthen our health care system, and expand our country’s testing capacity. Cicilline, who will testify on the Heroes Act before the Rhode Island Senate Committee on Finance at 4:00 PM, was joined on today’s call by U.S. Reps. Grace Meng, Brian Higgins, Donald Payne, and Dwight Evans.


“The Senate was in session this week, but the only thing they did was confirm more right-wing judges. We are in the middle of the worst pandemic in more than a century. Mitch McConnell needs to stop what he’s doing and bring the Heroes Act up for a vote. This legislation will provide nearly $1 trillion to keep critical frontline workers on the job. It provides another round of direct cash payments to families and critical resources for testing. There’s no reason that the Senate should be working on anything else,” said Chairman Cicilline. 


“This is an unprecedented time for our nation and it requires an unprecedented response by Congress,” said Rep. Meng. “Passing the Heroes Act last week was another vital step in combatting the outbreak of COVID-19 and getting our nation back on track. Queens, New York, the area I represent, has been the epicenter of the epicenter. I have seen firsthand the pain and suffering that the coronavirus has caused, and how many of my constituents are hurting and need help. They need a lifeline, and the Heroes Act provides one. The Senate must now follow suit, and I call on Leader McConnell to immediately schedule a vote.”


“This can’t wait. People are struggling to put food on the table and just get by. The Heroes Act meets the immediate needs of families, frontline workers and communities.  And it invests substantially in research to develop coronavirus treatments and vaccines to prevent future economic devastation and tragic loss of lives,” said Rep. Higgins.


“We need the HEROES Act because all Americans are losing loved ones, jobs, health insurance, and their patience right now,” said Rep. Payne.  “The only aid they will get is whatever we provide them.  Our constituents expect us to protect their interests and do the right thing.  This bill is the right thing because it is good for Americans, American businesses, and American workers.” 


“We need an urgent federal response that is equal to the crisis we face – a pandemic on a scale we haven’t faced in 100 years. Unemployment and food-bank lines have reached levels not seen since the Great Depression over 80 years ago. The jobs of vital frontline workers are at risk in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and across the country. I urge the Senate to hear the Americans crying out for urgent help and join us in passing this bill,” said Rep. Evans.



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