Contact: Shin Inouye, [email protected], 202.869.0398

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the House passage of the COVID-19 relief package, the “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act” or the HEROES Act:  

“We applaud the House for answering our call to lift our most marginalized communities and protect our democratic institutions. As this pandemic continues to wreak havoc on economic security, health, families, and lives, the Senate must now act. Instead of dismissing this comprehensive approach to strengthen our country, senators must put politics aside and make sure no one is left behind.”


The Leadership Conference welcomes the inclusion of measures such as:

  • $3.6 billion for free, fair, accessible, and safe elections and voter access provisions
  • Recognition of the importance of ensuring a fair and accurate census at a time of unprecedented disruption
  • Increases to the SNAP benefit level and minimum monthly benefit to strengthen food security
  • Additional stimulus payment, including relief for certain immigrant taxpayers
  • Paycheck Protection Program loans for small minority-owned businesses
  • Robust funding to save the United States Postal Service
  • Additional federal funding for Washington, DC
  • Rejection of Secretary DeVos’ misinterpretation of the CARES Act with regard to emergency financial aid eligibility for immigrant students
  • Extension of unemployment assistance availability
  • Expansion of paid sick days and paid leave for working people
  • Increased protections against foreclosures, evictions, and abusive debt collection
  • Increase in Federal Medical Assistance Percentages
  • Additional funding for free COVID-19 testing and treatment
  • Anti-discrimination provision for all COVID-19 response legislation
  • Inclusion of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act to combat the increase in hate crimes associated with the pandemic at the local, state, and national levels
  • Protections for millions of immigrants for the ability to work and from deportation
  • Medicaid coverage for people living in the United States
  • Creation of an emergency broadband benefit to meet the critical need for affordable or free broadband access for households hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Allowing people to communicate with their detained and incarcerated loved ones at fair rates
  • Broad mechanisms for courts to reduce sentences
  • Expanded mechanism for release, diversion from pretrial detention, and supportive services for reentry
  • $600 million for a U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs grant program, and $250 million for the Second Chance Act Program
  • $11.5 billion for housing through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Emergency Solutions Grants program

Last month, The Leadership Conference outlined the steps Congress needs to take to protect public health more effectively, preserve and strengthen our public institutions, and ensure that our eventual economic recovery works for everyone.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit