Kilili: $3B proposed for the Marianas

Posted on Jun 09 2020

Speaking at the virtual general membership meeting of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce last week, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said that while it was important to respond to the emergency that the COVID-19 pandemic brought in terms of health and economic crisis in the Marianas, it is equally important to respond to economic recovery as well.

That’s what the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to do with a proposed bill called the HEROES Act, said Sablan. “Congress has already passed more relief to communities as the nation face many problems. With the HEROES Act, about $3 billion is allotted for the Marianas that should get government services, schools and our hospital running. …Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. CEO Esther Muña could probably build the laboratory that she wants,” he said. “The HEROES Act will put more people in business and put more money in people’s pockets. So before businesses open, before people can go back to work, people can buy what they need for themselves and for their families,” he said.

The HEROES Act that recently passed the House, is another COVID19 relief package that consists of $3 trillion in economic aid for Americans who have suffered economically as a result of the pandemic. The HEROES Act, like the CARES Act, is intended to help American families survive the economic crisis arising from the pandemic. Under the HEROES Act, qualified American citizens will receive a second round of stimulus checks—$1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for joint returns and another $1,200 for every dependent, for a maximum of $3,600. The Act will also would apply to immigrants that were denied under the CARES Act. A “Heroes Fund” of $200 billion is allotted for essential workers.

To date, 40 million Americans in the U.S. mainland are unemployed and many companies, big and small, have suffered from bankruptcies and foreclosures. According to the CNMI Department of Labor, close to 10,000 individuals in the CNMI are expected to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

The Heroes Act bill is expected to move into action at the U.S. Senate floor in July.

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.
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