Posted by 14 May 2020
The House of Representatives is on the verge of passing its fifth bill related to the coronavirus epidemic. Unlike the previous legislation, however, this bill's approval is set to come along partisan lines.
House Democratic leadership introduced the bill earlier this week. Republicans charged that they had little time to look over the details and pointed out they had no input in its writing. Among other things, the bill includes:
- Nearly $1 trillion in aid for state and local governments
- $200 billion to provide hazard pay for front-line workers
- Another round of direct payments to households
- $175 billion in housing aid$75 billion for more testing
Democrats say these things are necessary to provide aid to an economy that is suffering in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic. They argue that many states and local governments will face difficult choices to cut key services without federal aid. Republicans, however, say the bill is too expensive. They also note that it contains spending on items that have little to do with the current health crisis, such as tens of millions of dollars to the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Republicans also fault Democrats for putting provisions in the bill that would benefit organized labor.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said he has no interest in bringing this bill up for consideration in the Senate. There will likely be another coronavirus aid bill, but for any bill to move through Congress and be signed by President Trump, it must be bipartisan.
Do you think the Senate should vote on the $3 trillion coronavirus aid bill?