House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on the GOP-controlled Senate to pass the HEROES Act, saying that lawmakers need to act quickly to respond to rising unemployment and a potential hunger crisis amid the CCP virus pandemic.
“Time is very important. We have lost time. But, again, setting aside how we got here, we can not take a pause,” Pelosi said Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“They may think it’s ok to pause but people are hungry across America, hunger doesn’t take a pause. People are jobless across America, that doesn’t take a pause. People don’t know how they’re going to pay their rent across the country. We have to address this with humanity,” she added.
On the night of May 15, House Democrats, in large, approved a $3 trillion relief package that would send as much as $6,000 for every household, $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples, and $1,200 for dependents. Other measures, including an extension of relief for small businesses, expanded unemployment insurance, more pay for frontline workers, more funding for state and local governments, and more are included in the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other top Republicans in the Senate have expressed an unwillingness to pass the legislation, saying there are too many unnecessary provisions included. He described it as a “liberal wish-list” and “a parade of absurdities that can hardly be taken seriously.”
Pelosi said that her caucus has “no red lines” when she was questioned about liability limits on employers.
“The fact is the best protection for our workers and for their employers is to follow very good OSHA mandatory guidelines, and we have that in our bill,” Pelosi added. “And that protects the workers, protects their lives, as well as protects the employer if they follow the guidelines.”
The bill would provide $200 billion for essential workers who have been employed during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. An extension of the Paycheck Protection Program is included in the $3 trillion bill, as well as COVID-19 emergency grants.
The legislation, if signed into law, would also extend a $600-per-week boost in unemployment insurance that was established under the CARES Act, expiring in January 2021, in an attempt to help more than 30 million Americans who lost their jobs amid the pandemic.
The White House said it will veto the measure, saying Democrats are “more concerned with delivering on long-standing partisan and ideological wish lists than with enhancing the ability of our nation to deal with the public health and economic challenges we face.” according to The Associated Press.