House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a new coronavirus relief package Tuesday—but Republicans say it will never pass the Senate. The $3 trillion "Heroes Act" includes around $1 trillion for state, local, and tribal governments, as well as a second round of direct payments to Americans of up to $6,000 per household, a $175 billion housing assistance fund for people struggling to pay rents or mortgages, and an extension of the $600-per-week boost to unemployment benefits, the Washington Post reports. The 1,815-page bill also includes $200 billion in "hazard pay" for frontline workers, another $75 billion for coronavirus testing, and $25 billion for the US Postal Service. The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday. More
- "Not acting is the most expensive course." "We must think big for the people now because if we don’t it will cost more in lives and livelihood later," Pelosi said Tuesday "Not acting is the most expensive course," she said. "We are presenting a plan to do what is necessary to deal with the corona crisis and make sure we can get the country back to work and school safely." Progressive caucus members, however, complained that the bill doesn't go far enough, Politico reports.
- Republican rejection. Republicans argued that it could be too soon for another round of coronavirus relief, and they wouldn't support this bill in any case, the AP reports. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described it as collection of pet priorities that doesn't deal with "reality." "What Nancy Pelosi is proposing will never pass the Senate," said GOP Sen. John Barasso.
- Schumer invokes Hoover. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer likened McConnell, President Trump, and other Democrats to Herbert Hoover in the early days of the Great Depression. "What is it going to take for Mitch McConnell to wake up and see the American people need help, and they need it now?" the Democrat said. Earlier this week, McConnell said they had "not yet felt the urgency of acting immediately."
- Election backup plan. The Hill reports that the bill also includes a backup plan to ensure all voters can vote by mail if in-person voting is still unsafe in November. Republicans are strongly opposed to universal postal voting and the measure is expected to be a particularly tough sell when House and Senate negotiations begin.
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