Norton Announces Fifth Coronavirus Response Bill, Includes Retroactive CARES Act Funding for the District of Columbia

May 12, 2020
Press Release
Bill also provides future funding for the District at the state, city, and county levels and Access to Federal Reserve Municipal Liquidity Facility

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that in the fifth coronavirus response bill, the Heroes Act, introduced by House Democrats today, she has gotten $755 million in retroactive CARES Act funding for the District of Columbia, in addition to prospective equal funding for D.C. at the state, city, and county, levels in the Heroes Act. In addition, the bill authorizes D.C.’s participation in the Municipal Liquidity Facility the Federal Reserve is establishing to support short-term borrowing by states, cities and counties in response to the coronavirus.

Norton thanked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), saying, “Our efforts together will ensure D.C. is treated fairly – equally to the states, as is usual for funding purposes.” The Heroes Act will help ensure that D.C. can fully respond to the dual coronavirus public health and economic emergencies going forward. Norton said she was particularly grateful to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer, who worked tirelessly on this bill, and said she will work with allies in the Senate, led by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), to protect the D.C. provisions.

The enacted third coronavirus response bill, the CARES Act, which was drafted by the Republican Senate, treated D.C. as a territory rather than a state in the Coronavirus Relief Funding, defying precedent. I pledged to fight not only for resources for the District going forward, but to retroactively address this treatment. The Heroes Act does both.

“In addition, the Heroes Act provides nearly $1 trillion to state and local governments to pay essential first responders, healthcare workers, and teachers. It establishes hazard pay for workers who risk their lives and provides additional direct cash payments of $1,200 per family member and up to $6,000 per household. In addition, this bill provides unemployment and housing benefits and provides a much-needed 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP and nutrition programs that help feed families, which I have particularly sought. We have fought for each of these provisions because of the escalating needs of our city and country.”