Brindisi Fights For & Secures Key Wins For Upstate In Heroes Act Including Millions for Testing, Frontline Workers, Rural Hospitals & More

Up to the Minute

From the office of Congressman Anthony Brindisi:

Following Bipartisan, Local Drumbeat Lead By Brindisi, Congressman Delivers Millions For State and Local Governments and Frontline Workers

In Addition To Billions In Aid To New York, Brindisi’s Rural Hospital Legislation Included In Latest Coronavirus Relief Bill

Brindisi: During This Difficult Time We Need To Work Together To Provide Relief For Our State & The Heroes Act Delivers  

Following the securing of key victories for Upstate New York families, frontline workers, local governments, and rural hospitals, Congressman Anthony Brindisi announced his support for the Heroes Act. As New York nears 350,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide, Brindisi threw his support behind this legislation to provide critical aid to hard hit areas, vital equipment for frontline workers, and crucial economic relief for workers, farmers, families, and small businesses.

This legislation provides more than $100 billion in aid for New York. Brindisi fought and secured crucial aid for rural communities, hospitals, and workers. Thanks to Brindisi’s advocacy, this legislation includes an estimated $34 billion for New York State and more than $32 billion for county and municipal governments in New York, nearly $4.5 million for NY-22 hospitals, and Brindisi’s ARC Act, which will cut bureaucratic red tape for rural hospitals in New York’s 22nd district.

“This pandemic has hit New York the hardest and I’ve heard from workers, families, small businesses, and elected officials from both parties that we need relief,” Brindisi said. “The Heroes Act is far from perfect, but it includes millions for our frontline heroes, our state and local governments, aid for our rural hospitals and small businesses, and puts more money in the pockets of Upstate New Yorkers during the pandemic. During this difficult time, we need to work together for New York to start to try and come back from this. In order to do that, we need resources and this bill delivers.”

The Heroes Act will:

  • Provide $75 billion for #COVID19 testing and contact tracing, and requires all health insurers (public & private) to cover 100% of COVID treatments. It also expands health care options for Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. 
  • Create a $200 billion Heroes Fund to give hazard pay to all our essential workers who have risked their lives every single day of this crisis to keep us safe & healthy.
  • Provide another round of $1,200 payments to individuals and expand the first round of payments to include all dependents, including 17- and 18-year-olds, students under 24, and permanently disabled dependent children of any age.
  • Allocate nearly $1 trillion in desperately needed funding for state and local govts. Without this funding, NYS will be forced to make cuts to essential services like schools, police & fire depts, and hospitals. We can’t let that happen.
  • Prioritize our small businesses by expanding PPP loans, providing $10 billion in grants for local businesses, and close a loophole that will extend emergency paid sick leave to businesses with less than 500 employees.
  • Cut red tape so rural communities can access health care. Brindisi’s ARC Act was included to l ensure that hospitals in rural districts like #NY22 can afford to keep their doors open through this pandemic.
  • Expand aid for our country’s farmers and ranchers. Upstate dairy farmers are suffering right now, & the Heroes Act provides more than $16 billion in direct payments to ag producers to cover losses & compensate for milk-dumping. It would also help connect family farmers to food banks & prevent needless hunger across the country.
  • Protects our servicemembers and Veterans who are uniquely affected by this crisis. This legislation provides counseling for all servicemembers who deployed active duty service to fight #COVID19. It also ensures the VA covers COVID treatment for all our Veterans, even at non-VA facilities, and expands assistance for homeless Veterans.
  • Hold big cable companies accountable so they can’t raise their prices during this crisis. This legislation will lower cable bills by up to $50/month for households that are low-income or affected by furloughs or layoffs. It also prohibits cable companies from cutting off internet service to households and bans data caps and overage fees for the duration of the pandemic.
  • Provide more than $15 billion to expand affordable broadband access and get our rural communities online, because access to the internet is more vital than ever.
  • Allocate $25 billion to help the US Postal Service recover from the pandemic and continue to serve rural communities. 

This legislation was praised by Veterans, farmers, health care advocates, and more.

“As the Commander of the New York State American Legion, I want to thank Congressman Brindisi for fighting for Veterans during the pandemic,”  said New York State American Legion Commander and Vietnam Veteran Mike McDermott of Homer. “Especially during these times, our Veterans are at risk and we need to do everything we can to help our homeless Veterans. This is what we fought for and we need to take care of our Veterans during this virus.”

“The Heroes Act includes many provisions to help dairy farmers and others in rural New York continue to supply upstate New York and the nation with U.S. produced milk, produce and protein,” said Patty Bikowsky, Madison, NY dairy farmer. “Representative Anthony Brindisi continues to advocate for the dairy industry as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, and I am grateful for the role he played in securing passage of the HEROES Act today.”

“The provisions in the Heroes Act will make it quicker and easier to provide critical services to homeless Veterans and the greater Veteran community,” said Scott McCumber, Chair of the Mohawk Valley Housing Coalition. “Easing administrative burdens, increasing eligibility, and effectively utilizing current technologies will help ensure that any homeless Veteran in our community is immediately able to live in a clean and safe home and also ensures all Veterans will receive excellent care and coverage in these uncertain times.  This bill provides immediate and essential care to those Veterans that need it the most.”

“HANYS applauds Congressman Brindisi for his tireless work to correct an ongoing issue threatening the viability of rural hospitals across New York state,” said HANYS President Bea Grause, RN, JD. “Thanks to his leadership, the bipartisan Access for Rural Communities Act passed the House of Representatives this week. This legislation will protect critical Medicare resources for our hospitals and preserve access to care in rural communities across New York. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a sobering reminder of how important it is to ensure that our small and rural hospitals are able to provide services year-round so that they can be ready and prepared to serve their communities when they need it most.”  

“As healthcare workers, we’re risking our health and our families health by simply going to work,” said Shatasha Edwards, LPN and 1199SEIU member at Oneida Center. “I have three kids at home to take care of so I have plenty of things to worry about right now. The Heroes Act focuses on making sure essential working people are fairly compensated instead of just taking care of big corporations that’s why my brothers and sisters in 1199SEIU are in full support of this legislation.” 

“As a dairy farmer in Upstate New York, I thank my Representative, Anthony Brindisi, for his bipartisan leadership and work to secure support for dairy as we experience challenges unlike any we have endured,” said Bill Banker, Morrisville, NY dairy farmer. “The Heroes Act provides important relief to dairy producers, and Rep. Brindisi’s advocacy and support for these helpful provisions is deeply appreciated.”

“We want to thank Congressman Brindisi for supporting the Heroes Act,” said President of the Central New York Labor Council Samantha DeRiso. “The Labor Movement has proven time and time again how important American work is not only to the economy, but to our very existence as a nation. The coronavirus pandemic is simply just another example.   Frontline and union workers have been called heroes throughout this pandemic—now it’s time to actually treat us that way. This legislation protects workers and provides much needed aid to working families and we appreciate the Congressman’s support.”

The legislation is expected to pass the House later today. Brindisi’s office created a one-stop-shop website for coronavirus resources at Brindisi.house.gov/coronavirus

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