WASHINGTON – The House on Friday adopted a $ 3 trillion coronavirus rescue package devised by Democrats that would include another round of stimulus payments of up to $ 1,200 per person.
President Donald Trump this week declared the Democrats’ “DOA” proposal.
Similar to the first major aid program against coronaviruses signed in late March, the 1815-page HEROES law would provide up to $ 1,200 in payments (or $ 2,400 for married couples), with an additional $ 1,200 per dependent up ‘to a maximum of three. The income thresholds are the same as in the previous CARES law, with money for people up to $ 99,000 and couples up to $ 198,000. The amount would start to drop from $ 1,200 above the $ 75,000 and $ 150,000 thresholds, respectively.
The bill was passed by a vote of 208-199 and is now moving to the Senate.
To allow access to payments for immigrants, the measure removes the requirement for a social security number from CARES law and allows people to file income tax returns with a tax identification number (or TIN).
HEROES legislation also includes:
– Nearly a trillion dollars in aid to state and local governments
-Additional $ 600 extra per week for unemployment benefits until January 2021
-Enlarged coronavirus test, contact tracing and processing and requirement for the Trump administration to develop a national testing strategy
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-Improved tax credits for employers to keep employees on their payroll
-Support to help tenants and landlords make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments
– $ 10 billion for the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, to support the planned increase in participation in food stamps
– $ 3.6 billion for grants to states for emergency planning and preparation for federal office elections
On Friday, the House also passed a resolution to temporarily change the rules of the House to allow proxy voting and remote committee work during the pandemic, an unprecedented change in the operation of the room. This mainly went through the parties.
Friday, in a letter to House Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Urged colleagues to vote in favor of HEROES legislation, asking them to consider young people who “miss the thrill of their degrees in person. ” ”
“We must give them hope by alleviating the challenge our country faces to improve the future for them,” she said. “I urge our colleagues to consider them all, their own states and their own constituents as they make a decision today that is so important to our country. “
Pelosi also lobbied its members Thursday evening after some progressive and moderate voices expressed concern, saying to lawmakers, “If you vote against this and all of this funding for your state, then you must go home and defend it. And if you can defend that no vote, then you are a better politician than me. ”
Representative Kendra Horn, D-Okla., tweeted that Congress should find “middle ground” and not engage in partisan exercise. Representative Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., Announced that she would vote against and called for bipartisan negotiations between the House and the Senate.
Before the vote, minority leader Kevin McCarthy spoke in the House to criticize the bill.
“I listened to what President Pelosi said at your conference – go big. Instead of going big, it looks like you have gone mad. This is a political messaging bill that has no chance of becoming law, “said McCarthy.
Despite opposition, the bill is still expected to pass with the support of most Democrats and some Republicans.
Meanwhile, Trump and senior administration officials have recently said that they do not yet want to negotiate another aid package and that they must press the pause button to approve more funding.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Echoed the argument, although he suggested in an interview with Fox News on Thursday evening that he was open to a new round of negotiations.
McConnell, however, criticized the House Democrats’ proposal as a simple measure containing a wish list of democratic priorities which he said were unrelated to the current crisis.
“I think we all think that another bill is probably going to be needed,” he said. “But I am not ready today to set a precise date at the moment. “
Speaking upstairs, Pelosi said the time was right to act.
“Some members say,” Let’s take a break. “Let’s take a break? Do you think this virus is taking a break? Do you think the rent is taking a break? Said Pelosi. “The difficulty of losing a job does not take a break or tragically lose a loved one. It doesn’t take a break. “