10 Bad Policies in the "HEROES Act”

Blog Articles · May 14, 2020 · Budget and Spending

Nancy Pelosi has released a new 1,815-page coronavirus “relief” bill that will cost American taxpayers $3 TRILLION dollars (you read that correctly: $3,000,000,000,000)!

This bill not only wastes taxpayer dollars on liberal policies unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic, but it also provides close to $900 billion in bailouts for state and local governments.

Erratic, irresponsible spending and state bailouts waste taxpayer dollars by pushing liberal wishlists while rewarding mismanaged states at the expense of responsible ones.

Pelosi’s bill might be called the “HEROES Act,” but it is truly a VILLAIN in disguise.

Here are 10 examples of bad policies in the HEROES Act. Trust us, this list is far from exhaustive.

10) $25 Million for the Arts, Humanities, Libraries, and Museums

While the arts and humanities, libraries, and museums are admittingly valuable to American society and culture, any coronavirus-related monetary relief should be focused on issues that are directly related to the pandemic. An earlier coronavirus relief bill gave $25 million to the Kennedy center, but despite the influx of cash, the Kennedy Center still furloughed—without pay—279 full-time employees and 725 part-time staff members. The HEROES Act provides $10 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $10 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and $5 million for the Institute for Museum and Library Services. There is little hope of this money being spent to help working Americans.

9) Lifting the $10,000 Federal Deduction SALT Cap

The HEROES Act lifts the current $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes in 2020 and 2021 and would provide a two-year windfall tax cut but only to taxpayers in the highest tax states. As the Heritage Foundation explains: “If this proposed change to uncap the deduction were made permanent, it could encourage state governments to increase some of their most economically harmful individual taxes, slowing the economic recovery and passing the costs onto more responsible states.”

8) Forgives Up to $10,000 in Students Loans

Insurmountable student debt and college affordability are major problems facing many American students. However, this problem need not be dealt with by providing blanket student loan forgiveness that places the burden of payment on taxpayers, many of which are Americans who did not personally take out loans or who faithfully repaid their loans.

7) Stimulus Payments for Illegal Immigrants

Remember the $1,200 cash payments some Americans received under the CARES Act? Well, this bill would include more cash payments, but not only for American citizens. Because the HEROES Act does not require social security verification to receive a stimulus payment, the bill would also send Americans taxpayer dollars to illegal immigrants.

6) $15 Billion for Highways

We need to fix America’s broken infrastructure, but in years past, balancing the budget and prioritizing the restoration of American infrastructure was ignored. To remedy this failure, the HEROES Act sneaks in $15 billion for long-neglected repairs for American highways and byways without making any reforms to the permitting process, all but ensuring most of these funds are wasted in bureaucratic red tape. In this case, half a fix is not a fix at all.

5) $50 million for “Environmental Justice” Grants

If you don’t know what “environmental justice” grants are, you’re not alone. These grants were originally designed to protect low-income communities from environmental harm. However, the programs were largely ineffective because they blocked business development, reducing economic opportunity to the underserved and disadvantaged communities they were meant to help. The HEROES Act provides $50 million in environmental justice grants and continues the harm these policies have been perpetuating on low-income Americans for years.

4) Interferes with States’ Election Rights

Under the U.S. Constitution, the right to conduct elections is given solely to the states. But the HEROES Act requires states to provide no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail ballots, forgo any form of identification to obtain an absentee ballot, and establish vote by mail standards that would allow an individual to designate another person to return their ballot for them. Not only does the HEROES Act strip the states of their constitutional authority, but the requirements demanded in the bill make voter fraud easier and endanger the integrity of our elections.

3) Makes it Harder for Businesses to Rehire Employees

Remember the weekly bonus $600 unemployment insurance benefit that many Americans received under the CARES Act? The same benefit that pays some people more money to be unemployed than to actually work? Well, Pelosi’s bill wants to extend that…through January 2021! Because of these excessive unemployment benefits, many businesses have not been able to entice their workers to return to work. Extending this provision to 2021 will be the final nail in the coffin for many businesses across the nation.

2) $25 Billion USPS Bailout

The HEROES Act provides a $25 billion bailout for the U.S. Postal Service, in addition to $15 million for the Postal Service Inspector General for oversight of this funding. What the USPS truly needs is big reform, not a big check!

1) $915 Billion for Bailouts

Bailouts are simply a bad idea. They take hard-earned taxpayer dollars from responsible states who have balanced their budgets and redistribute those dollars to fiscally irresponsible states who have failed to plan for a rainy day. The HEROES Act provides $500 billion in state government bailouts, $375 billion in local government bailouts, and $40 billion for tribal and territory governments.

The HEROES Act is a bad deal for the American people, and we need your help to stop it. Here’s what you can do:

1) Call your representative using this call script and talking points (use the link to also find your representative’s phone number.) Congress is checking their voicemails, so if they don’t pick up, leave a voicemail and tell them to “oppose state bailouts.”

2) Tweet at your representative using this automated tweet (enter your zip code to auto-populate the tweet with your representative’s Twitter handle).

3) Write a letter to the editor (LTE) using this tip sheet and talking points.