The House Friday night passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package, dubbed the HEROES Act, by a vote of 208-199.
The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, would provide almost $1 trillion in aid to local and state governments, give another round of $1,200 stimulus payments directly to Americans, pay for coronavirus testing and contact tracing, and offer hazard pay to certain essential workers.
The 1,800+ page bill, unlike the CARES Act which passed the House by a vote of 419-6, was drafted by Democrats without input from Republicans. In fact, it failed to win over more than one supporter from the GOP, Rep. Peter King of New York. The bill lost fourteen Democrats, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in the process.
Following the narrow passage of the bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) remarked that she was “thrilled.” “I’m so proud of my members,” Pelosi continued. “They did something so monumental for the American people–for their health, for their lives, for their livelihood, and for our democracy.”
Regardless, the bill is unlikely to see the dawn of day in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Earlier this week, President Trump commented that the bill was “dead on arrival.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in a speech on the Senate floor, likewise said that the HEROES Act “reads like the Speaker of the House pasted together random ideas from her most liberal members and slapped the word “coronavirus” on top of it.”
Even so, many financial analysts expect some form of a Phase Four coronavirus relief bill to become law this summer. Whether or not it will look like the HEROES Act is yet to be seen.