House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a $3 trillion COVID-19 relief package on Tuesday, which includes $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments.
“The Heroes Act” designates $500 billion in funding to state governments to assist with the “fiscal impacts” of the coronavirus.
An additional $375 billion is set aside for local governments.
The plan also calls for more direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per individual and up to $6,000 for a family.
Other benefits to individuals include $175 billion in rent, mortgage and utilities assistance and an extension of the $600-per-week federal unemployment benefits boost until January 2021.
The Heroes Act also includes $200 billion for hazard pay for essential workers, as well as outlays for food assistance, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP.
The Associated Press reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for a “pause” in spending to see the impact of the CARES Act.
According to the Committee for a Responsible Government, Congress has thus far authorized $3.6 trillion in coronavirus-related legislation.
So if Pelosi’s bill were to pass, coronavirus-related spending alone would total $6.6 trillion, dwarfing 2019 federal spending.
“We must think big for the people now,” Pelosi said from the U.S. Capitol Building on Tuesday.
“Not acting is the most expensive course,” she added.
The speaker addressed McConnell and other Republican’s call for a pause saying, “Hunger doesn’t take a pause. The rent doesn’t take a pause. The bills don’t take a pause.”
McConnell responded on the Senate floor saying, “American workers don’t need Washington to inflict a far-left extreme makeover of our country. They need us to get rid of obstacles that might stand in their way” back to prosperity.
House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise reacted to Pelosi’s plan, calling it a liberal wish list.
“Nancy Pelosi has refused to let the House show up to work for weeks,” he tweeted. “Yet she just dropped a massive 1,800-page, $3 TRILLION partisan spending bill full of liberal wish list items that she wrote completely in secret.”
Nancy Pelosi has refused to let the House show up to work for weeks.
Yet she just dropped a massive 1,800-page, $3 TRILLION partisan spending bill full of liberal wish list items that she wrote completely in secret. ?
What a joke. Americans deserve better.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) May 12, 2020
“What a joke. Americans deserve better,” Scalise added.
Former Trump transition team member and political commentator Steve Milloy said Pelosi’s plan does not address the changes needed to jumpstart the economy.
“The House Democrats’ stimulus package is straight welfare that provides no means for repaying the money borrowed,” Milloy said in statement provided to The Western Journal.
“If this kind of money is going to be spent, the means of paying it back — i.e., economic growth spurred by deregulation and lower taxes — must be made possible.”
Milloy suggested a payroll tax holiday, which Trump supports, as a means to help the economy get moving again.
“The coronavirus stimulus programs have already added trillions of dollars to the national debt,” he said. “The only hope for being able to address that looming debt problem is through robust economic growth.”
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