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House Democrats Move to Pass $3 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Package

May 15, 2020

House Democrats have proposed a new $3 trillion relief package, titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which would increase funding for state and local governments, extend unemployment benefits, and designate special funding for frontline healthcare workers and first responders. Republicans have pushed back over the timing and priorities of the bill, saying they want to first see how the funds already approved by Congress are working, and rejecting what they view as “pet” Democrat provisions unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 1,800-page package is scheduled for a vote today, although the Democrat Progressive Caucus had urged that the vote be delayed until next week to give lawmakers a chance to review details of the bill.

While the bill is not expected to make it to the President’s desk, the House action is an opening salvo to further discussions among congressional leaders of both parties and the White House over another stimulus measure.

The HEROES Act includes:

  • Another round of direct payments to individuals -$1,200 per individual – up to $6,000 per household
  • An extension of the additional $600-per-week in federal unemployment payments through January, 2021
  • $200 billion in “hazard” pay for frontline healthcare workers/first responders
  • $75 billion for increased coronavirus testing