Schneider Legislation Included in House’s Updated Heroes Act Coronavirus Relief Package
WASHINGTON – Last night, the House passed the updated Heroes Act to crush the Coronavirus and put money in the American People’s pockets. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) praised the passage of the updated Heroes Act, which included his legislation to establish a medical supply chain director, restore the full SALT deductions, and allow public employers to access emergency paid leave tax credits.
“The scale of the coronavirus crisis requires bold action to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people,” said Congressman Brad Schneider. “As the seriousness of public infections heightens, it’s critical that we respond in kind with significant legislation to beat back this virus, restore our nation’s health, and get back to work. After the House passed my COVID PREPARE Act earlier this week, this legislation includes language I introduced creating a ‘supply chain czar’ to centralize our nation’s medical supply response and alleviate PPE shortages, eliminating the cap on the SALT deduction, allowing public employers to access emergency paid leave tax credits, and supporting health care providers and immigrant health care workers.”
Specifically, the updated Heroes Act contains legislative language and several provisions previously introduced by Schneider, including:
Establish Medical Supply Chain Director: Dating to the early stages of the COVID pandemic, Schneider has repeatedly called for the Administration to appoint a “supply chain czar” to centralize the authorities of the federal government to better manage our medical device supply chain, in particular for PPE and testing. He raised the issue in hearings with both Treasury Sec. Mnuchin and HHS Sec. Azar, and in April, led a caucus letter to House leadership, requesting subsequent stimulus packages call for the creation of a medical supply chain director or “czar,” empowered with the authority to survey states and hospitals, and produce, procure, and allocate critical supplies based on need. Schneider has also introduced identical legislation, H.R. 6952. The Heroes Act 2.0 includes this request by requiring the President to appoint a Medical Supplies Response Coordinator with similar authorities.
Eliminate Cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction. The Heroes Act would delay the $10,000 cap on the deduction for state and local taxes for one year. Schneider previously helped introduce legislation H.R. 5377, Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act, which would repeal the cap. That bill also passed the House in December 2019.
Permanently Reauthorize Conrad 30 Program for Immigrant Physicians. Last year, Schneider previously introduced legislation (H.R. 2895) that would reauthorize the Conrad 30 program to allow foreign medical students who graduate on J-1 visas to remain in the United States if they practice in a medically-underserved area. The newly updated Heroes Act would permanently reauthorize the Conrad 30 program and would expand the number of visas per state from 30 to 35.
Allow Public Employers to Access Emergency Paid Leave Tax Credits. Earlier this year, Schneider introduced legislation, the Supporting State and Local Leaders Act, to remove the exclusion of federal, state, and local governments from the paid sick and FMLA tax credits from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Under current law, only private employers are eligible for these tax credits. Schneider’s legislation is included in the Heroes Act.
The text of revised version of The Heroes Act is here. A one-pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. Additional information on the state and local relief provisions is here.