House Democrats on Monday unveiled a $2.2 trillion update to their HEROES Act relief bill that is designed to provide funding to schools, small businesses, restaurants, airlines, and other industries.
The $3.4 trillion HEROES Act passed in May, but it included a number of provisions that were rejected by GOP senators and the White House, including providing nearly $1 trillion in funding to cities and states, $600-per-week unemployment benefits, some Election Day measures, and more.
“It has been more than four months since House Democrats sent the GOP Senate $3.4 trillion in desperately needed coronavirus relief grounded in science and data, and Leader (Mitch) McConnell hit the pause button,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement to her caucus. “In our negotiations with the White House since then, Democrats offered to come down a trillion dollars if Republicans would come up a trillion dollars. Then, we offered to come down $200 billion more, even as the health and economic crisis has worsened and the needs have only grown.”
On the table is “additional assistance for airline industry workers, extending the highly successful Payroll Support Program to keep airline industry workers paid,” they said, adding that more funds will be provided to education, payments to vital workers, testing and treatment funding, worker safety, and other measures.
The bill also includes $1,200 direct payments to individuals and $500 per dependent. That’s down from the $1,200 for dependents, which was included in the first HEROES Act.
The measure also “restores unemployment benefits, ensuring weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January and preventing unemployed workers from exhausting their eligibility, providing a vital safety net for the record number of Americans who are unemployed, including those connected to the gig-economy,” according to Democrats.