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Rep. Blunt Rochester backs latest virus relief effort in House

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s lone congressional representative was among House Democrats voting in support of another massive coronavirus relief bill. 

The House voted largely along party lines to pass the $3 trillion HEROES Act Friday.

The bill includes another round of cash payments to most Americans, funding for expanded COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and treatment, as well as hazard pay for front line workers. 

“This bill, The HEROES Act, is important, because it puts a marker in the ground and it says to the American people ‘we hear you, we feel you and we are going to be bold and we are going to face this challenge head on,’” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE).

It is by far the largest federal relief package proposed to date. 

Senate Republicans have expressed concerns about its size, calling the bill “dead on arrival” with no chance of becoming law. 

Blunt Rochester says the bill is the start of a process that has worked to pass previous coronavirus relief. 

“It’s a beginning place, because that’s how we work on legislation,” she said. “We put forward something and then we’ll work with the Senate to take a look at what they have, and then come together as we have in the past bills on something for the American people.”    

Blunt-Rochester wrote a letter to House leadership to help secure a provision in the bill for minimum funding for small states. 

She says Delaware would receive a total of $2 billion from the HEROES Act. The state was allocated $1.25 billion in the CARES Act passed in late March.

Some of Blunt Rochester’s own legislative efforts made it into the HEROES Act as well. These include bills she cosponsored or helped introduce to remove out-of-pocket expenses for COVID patients, aid rural hospitals and prevent drug shortages.

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