WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 925, the Updated Heroes Act, which would address the continued public health crisis and provide desperately needed support for struggling families and essential workers.

“We have surpassed 200,000 COVID-19 deaths and 7 million cases in the U.S. – it is long past time for Senate Republicans to take action. The Updated Heroes Act makes clear that House Democrats are willing to do what is necessary to provide our communities, workers, and families urgently needed health and economic relief amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Like the Heroes Act passed by House Democrats in May, this bill includes vital support to communities including aid to state, local, and tribal governments; an extension of small business relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expanded unemployment benefits; another round of direct payments to individuals and families; rental assistance and an extension of the eviction moratorium; and enhanced food security benefits. Importantly, the bill also makes investments to combat the pandemic itself with money for testing, contact tracing, vaccine distribution, and personal protective equipment.

“Nine months into the pandemic, it is unconscionable that President Trump and his administration still refuse to take the pandemic seriously and Congressional Republicans remain unwilling to act. Individuals, families, and businesses across the country are still struggling. It is imperative that Congressional Republicans and the White House finally face the reality of this crisis and work with House and Senate Democrats to advance legislation that meets the needs of our communities.”