The U.S. House of Representatives on May 15 approved a massive, $3 trillion coronavirus spending package that would, among other things, provide a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks, $200 billion in pay for essential workers and extend the federal $600-per-week unemployment benefits for six more months.
Titled the Heroes Act, the legislation extends the weekly $600 federal unemployment compensation benefits through January 31, 2021, and includes language obligating the federal government to pay U.S. biofuel producers 45 cents for each gallon of biofuel produced over the first four months of this year. The bill does not include liability protection for businesses. Traditional infrastructure is not addressed. The legislation includes a new program that would enable employers to provide "premium pay" to essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, the legislation create a "HEROES Fund" to allow employers in certain industries to apply for grants from the federal government, which they would then use to provide premium pay to essential workers.
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