Democrats work to pass more stimulus bills; Republicans say slow down.
Senate leaders made it clear long before the passage of the HEROS Act that it would be dead on arrival in the Senate. That didn’t stop the House Democratic majority from supporting the $3 trillion bill. It passed 208-199, with 14 Democrats and one Republican crossing party lines.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor on Friday that the Senate should pass the bill immediately stating “not to act now is not only irresponsible in a humanitarian way, it is irresponsible because it’s only going to cost more, more in terms of lives, livelihood, cost to the budget, cost to our democracy.”
Senate Republicans said on Tuesday that they were in no hurry to work on another coronavirus relief package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that Congress needs to assess what they’ve already done.
“We need to take a look at what worked and what didn’t work, and we’ll discuss the way forward in the next couple of weeks,” said McConnell.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said that Republicans will definitely not extend the enhanced $600-per-week unemployment benefit set to expire in July. Republicans have criticized the measure because it currently pays some lower-income Americans more than they could earn while working.
Graham posted on social media that the $3 trillion spending package is “a window into the souls of the radical House Democrats.” He pointed out the problems with the bill including the fact that it promises illegal immigrants $1200 stimulus checks.
“The Pelosi package will never see the light of day in the Senate. In the Senate we will work with the Trump Administration to jump start the economy and fund efforts to defeat COVID19,” Graham tweeted.
McConnell took to the senate floor Tuesday to ensure the American people that the Senate was working and criticized House Democrats for their lack of time in Washington.
“The Senate is working for the American people during this crisis. We’ve been in session for weeks,” said McConnell. “House Democrats have shown up for work two days in eight weeks. They flew into town to pass a far-left wish list that could not even unite their own conference & promptly left town.”
After the CARES Act passed Congress with wide bipartisan support, it is now clear that future stimulus packages will undergo much more scrutiny by Republicans and also by moderate Democrats. It will take cooperation from both parties to produce any viable future packages.