Support the HEROES Act
The COVID-19 health crisis and the resulting economic shutdown have created a disaster that only the federal government has the resources to adequately address. We need a massive New Deal-level infusion of new federal funding to stave off catastrophic consequences for the millions of people who have lost their jobs — and to protect and strengthen the public services our society depends on, including outstanding public schools and high-quality public colleges and universities that students can attend without taking on massive amounts of debt.
The federal CARES Act was a down payment. The HEROES Act, a $3 trillion bill passed on May 15 by the U.S. House of Representatives, goes much further. We need to build a chorus of support for the HEROES Act, along with calls for improvements, as it is debated in the Senate.
The HEROES Act would do the following:
- Allocate $900 billion for state and local fiscal relief.
- Provide $100 billion in emergency aid for public education, from preK through college.
- Cancel at least $10,000 per student in college loan debt for the most financially insecure borrowers.
- Provide $1.5 billion for computers, Wi-Fi hotspots and support for students and families to address home connectivity issues.
- Provide hundreds of billions of dollars of relief — including to our immigrant neighbors and friends — for testing and contact tracing, healing the sick, feeding the needy, assisting the housing insecure, and extending aid to the unemployed and to those caring for sick family members.
The HEROES Act — while helping to protect states, municipalities, public schools and colleges — still needs to be improved:
- Our public schools and colleges will need far more to maintain and improve services for our students. The MTA, the NEA and our allies have called for nearly double the amount for our public education system.
- The final bill should be expanded to provide across-the-board student loan cancellation of $10,000 for federal and private loans. Research shows that canceling debt is a powerful way to stimulate the economy.
- The measure should also provide assistance to help people, many of them out of jobs, return to college or go for the first time and graduate debt free.
Let your U.S. senators know that you want them to pass an improved HEROES Act. Thank your U.S. representative for voting in favor of the bill and urge them to stand firm for a strong bill when it comes back to the House.