WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — While most of America stays home, millions of healthcare workers are gearing up for what’s expected to be the worst week yet of the coronavirus outbreak.
“They’re going to work, so we can stay home,” U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga said.
Huizenga says it’s heroic work and deserves recognition.
“When the president and others started using this language about, we’re are at war with this virus, it really registered and it clicked,” Huizenga said.
Like soldiers serving in combat zones, Huizenga wants to give medical workers and first responders combating the virus a federal tax holiday for the next four months.
“It’s a small way of us saying thank you,” he said.
Huizenga’s HEROES Act would give tax relief to anyone from correctional officers to nursing home workers in counties with coronavirus cases.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of bipartisan support for this,” Huizenga said.
But Adam Michel from The Heritage Foundation is hoping it doesn’t.
He calls the plan a bad one size fits all strategy.
“A blanket federal tax holiday — I don’t think would be well-targeted to the people that we’re trying to help nor would it provide any additional incentive to move people, nurses or doctors to hot spot areas,” Michel said.
Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, also believes this is not how the crisis should be addressed.
“They don’t need a tax holiday. They need personal protective equipment, more ventilators, and more and better testing. This is not a tax problem. It is a public health problem, and should primarily be addressed with public health solutions. Doctors and nurses are worried about getting sick or dying from COVID-19. A tax cut won’t lower that risk,” Gleckman said.
U.S. Rep Dan Kildee is reviewing the bill.
“We must find additional ways to support our front line workers during this crisis,” Kildee said in a statement.
Huizenga says he hopes to pass the HEROES Act on it’s own without being attached to the fourth stimulus bill, so that it isn’t bogged down in partisan debate.