What Does $3.5 Trillion Mean? The Democrat Controlled House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act on May 15, 2020. With a nearly $3.5 trillion price tag, we wanted to break down the funds to see if this was indeed a bloated bill (as is being claimed by some), or if it is truly geared towards helping to meet what we at ExtendPUA.org have demanded of our representatives.
About 10% of the total ($310 billion) actually represents a loss in revenue for the government due to alterations of the tax code. These include changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit, reinstating tax deductions for local and state taxes, and additional deductions for businesses on expenses related to employee retention and health and safety during the pandemic. It also includes $100 billion in lost revenue due to premium subsidies for private health insurance plans.
A little over 40% ($1.5 trillion) represents additional appropriated funds split among various agencies.
A large portion of these funds ($540 billion and $375 billion, respectively) are for state and local governments as fiscal relief for costs associated with weathering the pandemic and its accompanying economic crisis.
$75 billion would be provided for mortgage relief and other homeowner assistance to avoid foreclosures.
$178 billion is being added to the Provider Relief Fund for hospitals and other medical providers engaged in COVID-19 care,
and $124 billion for Housing and Urban Development ($100 billion of which is for rent relief and eviction prevention).
$90 billion has been committed to K-12 and Higher Education, with $58 billion of the total going directly to local school systems through their states.
$32 billion has been earmarked for transit - $15 billion for state transit departments and $16 billion for public transit -
and $25 billion has been allocated for the Postal Service.
The remaining funds include additional small business emergency grant funding among other smaller (less than 10 billion) disbursements.
The remainder of the funds ($1.6 trillion) is additional direct spending.
Two major portions of this are $554 billion in direct economic relief (a second round of “stimulus checks”) and $437 billion in additional support for the unemployed.
Another $92 billion will be spent for medicare and medicaid provisions, $68 billion on agriculture provisions, $52 billion for retirement relief, and $57 billion providing additional support for small businesses, student debt relief, and community financial institutions among others.
$201 billion has been earmarked for front line and essential workers to include hazard pay for those facing COVID-19 head on.
An additional $169 billion has been earmarked for education (work study grant extension, emergency financial aid, additional HBCU funding, among others).
The remainder is less than $20 billion for various other support programs.
We have made a thorough attempt to find what some may consider “pork” in this bill, and while we cannot attest there isn’t any - we do believe that at least 99% of what is included in the Heroes Acts speaks to the mission of ExtendPUA.org. You can find our numbers here.
All of our information is sourced from the text of the Heroes Act and the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates. You can find their breakdown here.