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House Democrats are slamming Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) for writing off their Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or the HEROES Act, which passed the House late last week by a vote of 208-199.
Democrats intend the HEROES Act to be the fifth relief package to respond to the health and economic challenges presented by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The $3 trillion legislation–which Trump and McConnell have declared as dead-on-arrival–would provide such relief as: $500 billion in direct assistance to state governments, a $200 billion “Heroes’ Fund” to ensure that essential workers receive hazard pay, would extend a $600-per-week boost in unemployment insurance established under the previous CARES Act until January 2021 to help millions of US workers who have lost jobs during the pandemic, and more.
“You know, it just shows who they are, and unfortunately their values really demonstration to the public they care more about corporations and millionaires and billionaires than the people,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif) said of the Republican opposition. “This is a bill that make sure during this pandemic that the contact tracing, the testing, the treatment is put into place, especially where the impacts are the greatest. Why in the world would the president and McConnell not want to see us test more, especially in black and brown communities most impacted? Why in the world would they not want us to help on the unemployment compensation extension through January? Why wouldn’t they not want to help small businesses? Why would they not want to help state governments who hire our essential workers as the states move to open up?
“I don’t understand why they would even — why they would resist. They have come kicking and screaming on every bill, but I applaud Speaker Pelosi for moving this bill forward,” she added. “We have got to take care of people in this country, and we have to make sure that people survive, not only survive through the health provisions of this bill we put in, but also the economic in terms of the impact on their families.
“Thirty-six million people are unemployed, and so I am just furious they would even send that message out to the public. It’s so disgusting, inhumane and un-American,” Lee said.
Passing the HEROES Act into law would only be following the advice of Trump’s own chairman of the Federal Reserve who has called for further intervention to aid the crashing US economy, according to Rep Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).
“We got to put people back to work. We got to make sure that people have the medical treatment they need in the worst public health crisis in over 100 years and I will point out, no less a figure than Donald Trump’s appointee as chairman of the Federal Reserve said on the eve of our passing the vote yesterday, look, he said, ‘Go big.’ Don’t worry about the debt. The hole in the economy is so big, you got to try to fill it and you got to save institutions, you’ve got to save our state and local governments and save the Postal Service and save the public health structure and you got to, you know, provide help for individual families running out of cash and can go hungry,” he said. “We’ve never seen 36 million Americans unemployed. We’ve never seen the kind of contraction in the economy we are now experiencing. We’ve never seen the kind of small business failures and even big business failures and bankruptcies that we are experiencing right now age it’s only going to get worse in the short term. We have an opportunity to stem it to mitigate it. To save the country from going off an economic cliff. That was the mistake Herbert Hoover made, you know, in a different generation in the Depression, let’s not repeat that but my Republican friends seem to have learned nothing.”
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