COVID-19 has changed everyday American life as we know it, and all of us have been impacted in some way.

Two million Texans have lost their jobs, and over 4,000 of our neighbors throughout the state have now lost their lives. And the crisis is only growing as the days go by.

Instead of working to find solutions to this crisis, Republicans in the U.S. Senate went on vacation this month. Today, many of the provisions in the coronavirus relief bill will expire, including the extra $600 in unemployment benefits and protections for renters against eviction.

It’s time for the Senate to get back to work and pass the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act.

Far too many essential workers are forced to go to work every day without basic protections, risking their lives to help keep our streets safe, our stores stocked and our communities running. The HEROES Act includes critical provisions to expand workplace safety requirements during the pandemic and keep our heroes on the frontlines safe.

Homes have become improvised offices — and schools. Many parents are struggling with the additional responsibility of managing their work schedules and their children’s class schedule. The HEROES Act includes badly needed funding to keep students and teachers safe and help schools reopen the right way.

Many of our neighbors are still out of work, and 1 out of 5 workers are on unemployment. Unfortunately, with the rise in cases in Texas, it’s likely to only get worse. Workers in Texas need the HEROES Act, which will extend COVID-19 unemployment benefits and create a framework to keep workers on the payroll.

As stimulus checks are spent and unemployment comes to an end, many households are faced with an uncertain future as the end of COVID-19 continues to ravage the country and create economic discord. More than ever, we need our country to step up for us. There’s no time to wait.

Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz — pass the HEROES Act.

Elizabeth Churaman is a civic engagement fellow at the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance.

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(4) comments

Bailey Jones

[thumbup] As I've commented before, these funds are necessary to keep the economy running. When companies are finally ready and able to rehire and reopen, it will only be more difficult if their former employees are homeless, or have had their transportation repossessed. Evictions aren't good for anyone, neither are repossessions, neither are using up savings and piling up debt just to get by. This recession is entirely created by government action / inaction. The government is responsible for making its victims whole again.

Wayne D Holt

"This recession is entirely created by government action / inaction. The government is responsible for making its victims whole again."

While it's a bitter pill to swallow, it is difficult to see how we can avoid more helicopter money at this point. We are long past the point of being able to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Being out of work is bad at any time; being out of work when your industry is operating at 25% of capacity guarantees your job prospects just vanished.

While we disagree on many of the medical issues of Covid-19, it is impossible to disagree that it was government, not any other entity, that is responsible for our present situation. I'm not sure how anyone can justify letting ordinary Americans sink under the combined weight of this disaster when they had the least input and impact in avoiding it.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

PD Hyatt

What really needs to happen is our elected leaders to get out of the way and let our economy open up and there would not be a need for any more funny money to be printed. Our nation is so deep in debt that I do not see why the world has not declared us bankrupt.... Not if but when that happens the entitlement group will be the first to scream and holler and then civil unrest will happen in our nation just like it has happened in all socialist, communist nations....

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