By Troy Torres
The U.S. House of Representatives has just passed the federal HEROES Act. The legislation, which will provide $3 trillion in federal relief to the states and territories, now heads to the U.S. Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said his chamber will not take up the measure until after Memorial Day.
"On this, the yeas have 208, the nays have 199," the speaker announced. "The HEROES bill has passed the House."
Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas, vice chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, was instrumental in securing billions in aid for the government of Guam and for Guamanians directly.
If passed into law as is, the HEROES Act will fund $13 per hour on top of existing wages of those classified as essential workers. See our previous story on this for additional details.
The legislation also will fund a second, expanded round of economic impact payments and provide at least $2.683 billion in direct aid to the government of Guam for Fiscal Year 2020 alone.
Under the act, homeowners will get relief on their mortgages, property tax, property insurance, and utilities costs. Renters also will get assistance.
The $600 weekly unemployment checks set to expire at the end of July under the CARES Act will be extended to January 31 under the HEROES Act.
The bill also provides $1 billion to the insular territories for hospital capital improvements and critical infrastructure.