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May 15, 2020
Press Release
Rep. Vargas' bill was included as a provision in the HEROES Act to provide additional medical supplies to combat COVID-19

Washington, D.C. (May 15, 2020)  Rep. Vargas released the following statement after the House passage of the HEROES Act. The bold and comprehensive legislative package will honor our health care workers, first responders, teachers, transit, food and other essential workers.  In addition, the HEROES Act will assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments that are responsible for public safety, public health, education, and sanitation in our communities. This bill commits another $75 billion for COVID-19 testing, tracing and treatment, strengthens the Payroll Protection Program for small business relief, and support housing, workplace, and food security for families and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Rep. Vargas’ bill, the “COVID-19 Emergency Medical Supplies Enhancement Act of 2020”, was also included as a provision in the HEROES Act allowing the president to exercise authorities of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to expedite the production, acquisition, and distribution of goods and materials needed to address the Coronavirus pandemic.


“As of now, there are more than 36 million initial unemployment claims and 1.4 million coronavirus-related cases in the United States. We must ensure that every possible resource is dedicated to combating the public health and economic impact of COVID-19.  This is why I’m proud to support a package that will bring relief to families, workers, and small businesses across the nation.


“The legislative package will provide direct relief for families and workers with a second round of direct payments and an extension of federal unemployment benefits. Small businesses in my district and around the nation are also struggling. The HEROES Act ensures that small business relief reaches underserved communities and businesses of all types and sizes.


“I’m also proud my bill was included as a provision in the HEROES Act ensuring that the president may invoke the Defense Production Act properly and to its fullest extent. I worked closely with Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) to ensure that we do whatever is necessary to treat and save as many lives as we can, while providing our citizens and our heroic medical workers with the supplies they desperately need. 


“I will continue working relentlessly to ensure Americans’ health, safety, and economic security remain a top priority. This dire situation has shown us the urgent need for relief.  It is imperative the Senate act swiftly and the President sign the HEROES Act into law. 


Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County, and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee.