HEROES Act is bold, but it can be better
Posted May 21, 2020 in Press Releases
House bill provides more funding to help Americans get back on their feet
The latest stimulus package passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would direct $3 trillion to help Americans get through the COVID-19 pandemic and the recession it’s causing. Now the bill is in the Senate’s hands and Republican leaders say it won’t remain intact. In a new brief Policy Matters Ohio calls for bigger, longer-lasting and more flexible aid especially for programs in four critical areas: state and local governments, health coverage for people with low incomes, federal food aid and child care.
“The federal government is how Americans of all races, from communities large and small, come together to tackle big challenges,” said Senior Project Director Wendy Patton. “During the last recession, federal policymakers ended support before all Americans got back on their feet. This time, our leaders can write the rules so the aid won’t stop until people are back at work and they are able to make ends meet.”
A federal package that fully supports state and local governments, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and child care would help many Ohioans get back on their feet, Patton said. More than 1 million Ohioans have been laid off since March. Many are now without the health coverage they received through their employer. Many need help paying for food. State and local governments rely on sales and income tax revenue to pay for most of the public services Americans use every day – from garbage collection to emergency response. Cuyahoga County has a $76 million budget shortfall. Supporting child care centers is also critical. Gov. DeWine closed day care centers to slow the spread of the virus. For many providers already operating on tight margins, it was a catastrophic financial blow.
“Federal policymakers can help Ohio’s families and working people get back on their feet – but only if they rise to the occasion,” Patton said. “With the HEROES Act, the House of Representatives points us in the right direction. To finish the job, federal leaders will have to fully marshal public resources for as long as necessary, so no one is left behind.”