The U.S. House has proposed another phase to the Coronavirus Relief. The newest addition revealed is $3 trillion dollars, the largest package related to the global pandemic yet.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she was encouraging Congress to “go big” with the new proposal for states. The legislation has been deemed the “HEROES Act.”
Here’s the breakdown:
- The Heroes Act gives roughly $1 trillion to states and communities, including tribal governments, for layoffs.
- $200 billion will go for hazard pay to essential workers.
- $75 billion for virus testing.
- Individuals will receive another $1,200 stimulus check (up to $6000 per household).
- $600 extra weekly in unemployment extended through January 2021.
- $175 billion in subsidized rent and mortgage payments ($2,000 monthly payments).
- Expanded food assistance, 15% increase in SNAP benefits.
- Funds for mail-in voting, election assistance and the U.S. Postal Service.
Many anticipate that there will be a vote on the bill by Friday. The fundamental priority for the proposal is to aid state, city and tribal governments who are working to avoid layoffs as operating costs rise and revenues continue to slide.
“Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats have kept the doors of the U.S. House of Representatives shut for weeks while they worked on their wish list of left-wing policies,” Congressman Michael Guest said. “The first three bipartisan coronavirus packages were focused on supporting families, hospitals, and small businesses as the coronavirus outbreak spread across our nation. Now, Democrats have used this crisis as a chance to prioritize changing election laws, bailing out pensions that have been mismanaged for years, and implementing job-killing provisions. It is estimated that this legislation would add approximately $3 trillion to our national debt. Americans deserve better.”
Fellow Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson however showed support for the legislation.
“I wholeheartedly support the Heroes Act,” said Thompson. “ It is a bold response to the coronavirus pandemic and economic collapse. I have heard from city and counties who are struggling because of the loss of revenue attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am happy that Democrats have heard the many voices asking for help and the Heroes Act now reflect the needs of the American people. Funds can be used for COVID-related expenses, to replace foregone revenues not projected on January 31, 2020, or to respond to negative economic impacts of COVID. Funds are available until expended, providing flexibility over the next several years,” said Thompson
The act will also assist small businesses and non-profits, providing more access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans with an additional $10 billion in disaster grants.
According to the Associated Press, one proposal from Rep. Jayapal D-Wash., would provide at least three-months of paychecks for those who make less than $100,000 annually. It has not yet been finalized.
This is the fifth package since March and could join the trillions of dollars already signed into law by President Trump. The CARES Act currently holds the highest dollar amount for legislation during the pandemic at $2.2 trillion.
It is still unclear how quickly the bill would move through the Senate if it is passed in the House. While the Senate has been back at work since last week, it is set to recess by the end of next week until June 1, observing the Memorial Day holiday.
“I don’t think we have yet felt the urgency of acting immediately, but that time could develop, but I don’t think it has yet,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.
According to Fox News, a package of this size could face deep skepticism from “cost-conscious lawmakers” who seem to be uncomfortable with the rate at which this spending has occurred. They said the U.S. Treasury was forced to borrow $3 trillion already to fund the first four coronavirus spending packages.