HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On Friday, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee announced that she's calling for the immediate passage of the Heroes Act to help control the spread of the coronavirus in U.S.
"For more than 12 weeks, Republicans have blocked the critical coronavirus relief included in the Heroes legislation Democrats swiftly passed," Lee said in a statement. "Americans are losing their lives and livelihoods and are being told to pause while Republicans play partisan politics during the most deadly health crisis our Nation has faced in more than 100 years."
The call comes after the institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation released a model projecting the U.S. death toll from coronavirus will reach more than 300,000 by Dec. 1.
"Additionally, millions of Americans are still out of work, with more than 1 million filing for initial UI claims for 20 straight weeks," Lee said. "I am calling upon (Senate Majority) Leader (Mitch) McConnell and Republicans to get serious about the emergent status of this deadly virus in our nation, the need of working families, stop the unnecessary delays, and pass the Heroes Act, immediately. Democrats presented a plausible solution to defeating this deadly virus more than 12 weeks ago, the Heroes Act, which reflects the needs of the American people and allocates the resources to save lives and grow the economy."
Lee believes the Heroes Act will put resources in the pocket of working families by issuing a second round of direct payments, totaling up to $6,000 dollars per household.
She said the new payroll protection program under the Heroes Act would aim to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through January 2021.
Lee also added that another $75 billion would be added for testing, tracing and treatment we needed to help ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
"Time is of the essence. We can no longer afford to wait. Republicans must work with Democrats to help save lives and livelihoods now. Pass the Heroes Act, immediately," Lee said.