Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


May 15, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement regarding the House passage of the fifth COVID-19 relief bill, The Heroes Act:

“More than 86,000 Americans have died, 1.4 million have been infected, and more than 36 million have lost their jobs—all because of coronavirus. A public health crisis of this magnitude is not something we see often which is why we must act boldly to help our citizens and reopen the nation safely. The Heroes Act accomplishes just that. The bill:

  • Provides $75 billion for testing, tracing and treatment and ensures every American can access free coronavirus treatment, while supporting hospitals and providers
  • Supports state, local, territorial and tribal governments with nearly $1 trillion who desperately need funds to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers who are in danger of losing their jobs
  • Creates $175 billion in new supports to assist struggling renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs
  • Addresses rising hunger with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table
  • Protects workers with $200 billion for hazard pay and new OSHA standards based on CDC recommendations
  • Supports small businesses and nonprofits, by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
  • Protects payrolls, by enhancing the new employee retention tax credit, allowing 60 million Americans to remain connected to their paychecks and benefits
  • Extends unemployment benefits through next January
  • Provides additional direct payments of $1,200 per family member, up to $6,000 per household
  • Preserves health coverage, by protecting Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance with COBRA subsidies to maintain their coverage and creating a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for uninsured Americans
  • Safeguards our democracy, with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserves the Postal Service

“The threat of this virus is not gone. We need to continue increasing testing, tracing, and treatment to fight it so we can begin to reopen our communities. Until it is safe, our citizens need support to feed their families and pay their bills. The Heroes Act puts us one step closer to putting an end to this pandemic.”

A video of Congressman Bishop’s floor statement is here.