House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is attempting to push a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package for a House vote on Friday, but progressives say it doesn’t go far enough and Republicans say it’s too soon for another stimulus.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is moving forward with her plan to hold a vote on Friday on a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package dubbed the “HEROES Act.”
However, many House Representatives on both sides of the aisle are complaining that Pelosi is rushing the measure through too quickly. The measure was released on Tuesday afternoon and members say a Friday vote does not allow them enough time to thoroughly review the massive, nearly 2,000 page bill.
Pelosi and House Democrats who are pushing for a swift vote argue that the current 14.7 percent unemployment rate, which continues to rise week after week and they say is sure to rise over the coming months, needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
“We must think big for the people now because if we don’t it will cost more in lives and livelihood later,” Pelosi said in a speech announcing the bill on Tuesday afternoon. “Not acting is the most expensive course.”
The stimulus will include a second round of $1200 direct payments to individual family members, raising the amount allocated towards children to equal adults (the previous amount for children was $500). The increased amount to families could provide up to $6000 per household.
The package includes nearly $1 trillion in belief allocated to state, local, and tribal governments, with $500 billion of that amount directed specifically at states.
In addition, the measure extends unemployment benefits to ensure that the $600 weekly federal unemployment payments will continue through January 2021. Currently, the extension is set to expire in July.
The bill allocates $75 billion in mortgage relief, $100 billion in renter assistance, and another $25 billion for the US Postal Service. In addition, it grants another $3.6 billion to help support elections.
The bill also establishes a $200 billion “heroes fund” allocated toward essential frontline workers, ensuring such workers receive hazard pay.
The package allocates $75 billion toward testing, contact tracing and isolation measures.
Numerous other multibillion-dollar provisions toward various needs are included in the legislation.
The bill will also provide payments to some undocumented immigrants who pay taxes.
Republican critics point out that the House bill gives massive tax breaks to the wealthy in mostly blue states, as well as taxpayer money to illegal aliens.
The measure will face a tough fight in the Republican-majority controlled Senate who argue that it is too soon following the previously passed $2 trillion CARES Act to yet determine if additional stimulus legislation is needed.
Progressive Democrats are also less than satisfied with the stimulus package, as they argue that it doesn’t go far enough. Progressives say the bill excludes some undocumented immigrants who paid taxes, as well as many college-age kids ranging in age from 17-24.
However, Progressives also acknowledge that if they challenge the bill, it could postpone or deny vital aid for their districts.