Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Dems' New $3T Virus Bill Boosts State Aid, Essential Workers
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
May 12, 2020

Share

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a more than $3 trillion coronavirus aid package Tuesday, providing nearly $1 trillion for states and cities, “hazard pay” for essential workers and a new round of cash payments to individuals.

The bill will offer a fresh round of $1,200 direct cash aid to individuals, increased to up to $6,000 per household, and launches a $175 billion housing assistance fund to help pay rents and mortgages. There is $75 billion more for virus testing.

The House is expected to vote on the package as soon as Friday, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said there is no “urgency.” The Senate will wait until after Memorial Day to act.

Lines drawn, the pandemic response from Congress will test the House and Senate — and President Donald Trump — as Washington navigates the crisis with the nation’s health and economic security at stake.

The so-called Heroes Act from Democrats is built around nearly $1 trillion for states, cities and tribal governments to avert layoffs, focused chiefly on $375 billion for smaller suburban and rural municipalities largely left out of earlier bills.

The bill will offer a fresh round of $1,200 direct cash aid to individuals, increased to up to $6,000 per household, and launches a $175 billion housing assistance fund to help pay rents and mortgages. There is $75 billion more for virus testing.

It would continue, through January, the $600-per-week boost to unemployment benefits. It adds a 15% increase for food stamps and new help for paying employer-backed health coverage. For businesses, it provides an employee retention tax credit.

There’s $200 billion in “hazard pay” for essential workers the front lines of the crisis.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the bill “will be ready” to call lawmakers back to Washington for the vote.

But the 1,800-page package is heading straight into a Senate roadblock. Senate Republicans are not planning to vote on any new relief until June, after a Memorial Day recess.

Trump has already signed into law nearly $3 trillion in aid approved by Congress.

McConnell Said He Is Working With the White House on Next Steps

McConnell on Tuesday called the emerging Democratic bill a “big laundry list of pet priorities.” He said it’s not something that “deals with reality.”

The new package extends some provisions from previous aid packages, and adds new ones.

There are other new resources, including $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service. There is help for the 2020 Census. For the November election, the bill provides $3.6 billion to help local officials prepare for the challenges of voting during the pandemic.

The popular Payroll Protection Program, which has been boosted in past bills, would see another $10 billion to ensure under-served businesses and nonprofit organizations have access to grants through a disaster loan program.

For hospitals and other health care providers, there’s another $100 billion infusion to help cover costs and additional help for hospitals serving low-income communities.

There’s another $600 million in funding to tackle the issue of rapid spread of the virus in state and federal prisons, along with $600 million in help to local police departments for salaries and equipment

McConnell said he is working with the White House on next steps. His priority is to ensure any new package includes liability protections for health care providers and businesses that are reopening. Trump is expected to meet Tuesday with a group of Senate Republicans.

“I don’t think we have yet felt the urgency of acting immediately,” McConnell told reporters earlier this week at the Capitol.

As states weigh the health risks of re-opening, McConnell said Tuesday the nation needs to “regroup and find a more sustainable middle ground between total lockdown and total normalcy.”

At Least a Dozen Capitol Police Officers and Other Staff Have Tested Positive for the Virus

Top GOP senators flatly rejected the House bill. “What Nancy Pelosi is proposing will never pass the Senate,” said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the third-ranking Republican.

At least a dozen Capitol police officers and other staff have tested positive for the virus, and at least one senator, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, is in isolation at home after exposure from a staff member who tested positive. Other lawmakers have cycled in and out of quarantine.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said, “I don’t think there’s a sense of urgency to do it now.” He noted that already-approved money still hasn’t “gone out the door.”

The Senate recently reopened its side of the Capitol while the House remains largely shuttered due the the health concerns.

Senators have been in session since last week, voting on Trump’s nominees for judicial and executive branch positions and other issues. The Senate majority, the 53-member Senate Republican conference, is meeting for its regular luncheons most days, spread out three to a table for social distance. Democrats are convening by phone. Many senators, but not all, are wearing masks.

At least a dozen Capitol police officers and other staff have tested positive for the virus, and at least one senator, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, is in isolation at home after exposure from a staff member who tested positive. Other lawmakers have cycled in and out of quarantine.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned that if Trump and congressional Republicans “slow walk” more aid they will be repeating President Herbert Hoover’s “tepid” response to the Great Depression.

Pelosi is dug in for a fight, believing the state governors and city mayors support the Democratic effort.

“To those who would suggest a pause, I would say the hunger doesn’t take a pause, the rent doesn’t take a pause,” Pelosi said late Monday on MSNBC. “We have a big need. It’s monumental.”

DON'T MISS

$11M State Grant Will Help Fresno’s Emergency Shelter Beds, Mental Health Services

DON'T MISS

City Council Finally Gives New NW Fresno Costco a Green Light

DON'T MISS

Prop 47 Reformers Send Nearly a Million Signatures to Sacramento

DON'T MISS

BTC Scammy Scams, Impact of Blockchain on Global Markets: Crypto The WonderDog Show

DON'T MISS

US Vetoes Full United Nations Membership for Palestine

DON'T MISS

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

DON'T MISS

Cavinder Twins Are Returning to Miami for Their Last Season

DON'T MISS

California Sets Long-Awaited Drinking Water Limit for ‘Erin Brockovich’ Contaminant

DON'T MISS

Savannah Bananas Dominate Social Media, Sell Out Stadiums Nationwide Including Fresno

DON'T MISS

Biden is Off on Details of His Uncle’s WWII Death as He Calls Trump Unfit to Lead the Military

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

UP NEXT

NPR Editor Suspended Over Claims of Network’s ‘Progressive Worldview’

UP NEXT

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

UP NEXT

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

UP NEXT

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

UP NEXT

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

UP NEXT

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

BTC Scammy Scams, Impact of Blockchain on Global Markets: Crypto The WonderDog Show

4 hours ago

US Vetoes Full United Nations Membership for Palestine

5 hours ago

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

5 hours ago

Cavinder Twins Are Returning to Miami for Their Last Season

6 hours ago

California Sets Long-Awaited Drinking Water Limit for ‘Erin Brockovich’ Contaminant

7 hours ago

Savannah Bananas Dominate Social Media, Sell Out Stadiums Nationwide Including Fresno

8 hours ago

Biden is Off on Details of His Uncle’s WWII Death as He Calls Trump Unfit to Lead the Military

9 hours ago

Big Names in Rap, Christian Music, and Comedy Headline Must-See Weekend Entertainment

9 hours ago

US and UK Issue New Sanctions on Iran in Response to Tehran’s Weekend Attack on Israel

10 hours ago

Will State AG Rob Bonta Jump Into 2026 Race for CA Governor?

10 hours ago

$11M State Grant Will Help Fresno’s Emergency Shelter Beds, Mental Health Services

Fresno got a $10.9 million piece of California grant money to shelter people living in encampments. The money from California’s $192 m...

3 hours ago

3 hours ago

$11M State Grant Will Help Fresno’s Emergency Shelter Beds, Mental Health Services

3 hours ago

City Council Finally Gives New NW Fresno Costco a Green Light

3 hours ago

Prop 47 Reformers Send Nearly a Million Signatures to Sacramento

Crypto the WonderDog Show
4 hours ago

BTC Scammy Scams, Impact of Blockchain on Global Markets: Crypto The WonderDog Show

5 hours ago

US Vetoes Full United Nations Membership for Palestine

5 hours ago

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

6 hours ago

Cavinder Twins Are Returning to Miami for Their Last Season

7 hours ago

California Sets Long-Awaited Drinking Water Limit for ‘Erin Brockovich’ Contaminant

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend