Millions of people are struggling to feed themselves and their families, falling behind on rent and losing their unemployment insurance benefits just as spiking coronavirus cases are making it less likely that businesses will be able to reopen and they’ll be able to return to work safely. Moreover, Black, Latinx, Indigenous and immigrant communities have been hit hardest by the pandemic and recession due to inequities in education, employment, housing and health care. There are currently two packages in Congress attempting to address some of these problems right now: The HEALS Act and the HEROES act. 

Both the HEALS Act and the HEROES Act include another $1,200 stimulus check, as well as additional funding for colleges, universities and K-12 public schools, but the HEROES act has additional provisions that would help Georgians thrive, such as:

  • Additional funding for Medicaid
  • An approach to medical debt and affordability of health plans
  • Additional funding for states to help address revenue shortfalls
  • A continuation of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit
  • An expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC)

The provisions in the HEROES Act provide better options to help Georgians recover. Congress needs to pass a comprehensive bill quickly; key provisions of previous federal aid packages, such as the $600 increase in unemployment benefits, have already started to expire. Negotiations are ongoing, and lawmakers are expected to pass a bill before the August 8 recess. Any legislation passed must protect critical public services—such as public education, mental health supports, public transit and public works programs—that we all rely on, and must include immigrants and communities of color.

Write Your Senator

Write your Senator today to let them know that you support the HEROES Act and provisions it includes, such as expanding the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credits (CTC). Use this page to learn more about the specific provisions that would help Georgians and to write a personalized email to your Senator. GBPI has also provided a template you can use.

You can read the letter GBPI wrote to Senators Perdue and Loeffler here.

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The HEROES Act includes provisions that would continue the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit and expand SNAP benefits, the EITC and the CTC. The HEALS Act does not. Talk to your senator about passing the HEROES Act today.

Two options for economic recovery have been proposed by Congress: the HEALS Act and the HEROES Act. The HEROES Act does more to protect Georgia communities by increasing the matching rate for Medicaid, continuing the expanded unemployment benefits and more. 

Georgians need support during our dual public health and economic crisis. Lawmakers should support the comprehensive HEROES Act to provide the support they need. 

Images courtesy of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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