Press Releases

Kuster Proposals Included in Latest Coronavirus Response Package Introduced in the House

**The HEROES Act is expected to be considered by the House of Representatives on Friday**

Concord, N.H., May 13, 2020

Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, released the following statement after a number of provisions proposed in her “Roadmap to Recovery” were included in the new coronavirus response package. Rep. Kuster has been in close contact with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone and House leadership to advocate for policies important to New Hampshire and the nation as a whole. The HEROES Act is expected to be voted on in the House on Friday, May 15.

“Nearly two months have gone by since we began to take significant, necessary measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in New Hampshire and across the nation,” said Kuster. “This virus has caused an unprecedented public health and economic crisis that requires a coordinated, comprehensive response.”

“I pushed for the inclusion of important policies outlined in my ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ and am pleased they have been included in the coronavirus relief package put forward yesterday in the House of Representatives – the HEROES Act,” Kuster continued. “This legislation is part of our continued efforts to mitigate the consequences that this pandemic has had on the health and economic wellbeing of Americans. My ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ outlines measures that we can take to safely reopen our economy, including a national testing strategy, expanding access to health care and providing vaccines, and support for state and local governments with much-needed funds during this critical time. I will continue working to ensure that our response efforts address the needs and priorities of New Hampshire families, workers, small businesses, health care workers, essential employees, and all Granite Staters.”

On April 29, Rep. Kuster introduced her “Roadmap to Recovery” – which can be viewed here – to serve as an outline for next steps. Due to Kuster’s efforts, critical provisions she fought for – including many from her Roadmap to Recovery – were included in the HEROES Act:

  • Comprehensive Testing Strategy, Contact Tracing, Quarantine Support:  Provides more than $75 billion in funding to state and local governments to bolster testing, contact tracing, and isolation. Additionally, the HEROES Act encourages engagement with community-based organizations to support the recruitment, training, and placement of contact tracers while creating a centralized national testing strategy.
  • Access to Vaccines & Health Care Coverage for All Americans:  Expands funding for the vaccines and therapies to combat COVID-19 and eliminates cost-sharing for Medicaid beneficiaries. Under the HEROES Act, a special enrollment period would be established to ensure those seeking treatment for COVID-19 can get health insurance coverage.
  • Additional Economic Payments to Taxpayers:  Provides additional $1,200 payments to qualified taxpayers, similar to the Economic Impact Payments in the CARES Act.
  • Continued Support for Unemployment Insurance:  The HEROES Act provides expanded and augmented Unemployment Insurance to Americans in need and extends the $600 weekly supplemental benefit through January 31, 2021.
  • Critical Fiscal Relief to State and Local Governments:  Provides over $1.74 billion in funding to New Hampshire state and local governments to support critical services to combat COVID-19.

The House is slated to vote on the HEROES Act Friday. It would be the fourth bill passed to provide much-needed relief to Granite Staters during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to Friday’s vote on this legislation, Congresswoman Kuster will travel to Washington, D.C. on Thursday for a hearing in the Health Subcommittee with former federal vaccine chief Dr. Richard Bright, who filed a whistleblower complaint last week after being removed from his position as Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). The hearing, entitled, “Protecting Scientific Integrity in the COVID-19 Response,” will begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow and can be viewed here.