Republicans in the Senate are pumping the brakes on a staggering $3 trillion spending bill put forth House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declared “no deal” on the California Democrat’s next coronavirus stimulus plan within hours of its announcement Tuesday, The Hill reported.
McConnell: Pelosi bill a non-starter
The bill, called the HEROES Act, is even more expensive than the record-shattering CARES Act passed in March, which featured a price tag of some $2 trillion. The Democrats have been talking this latest legislation up for weeks, raising the prospect of a partisan clash with Republicans, who are hesitant to keep adding to an already exploding deficit.
The new bill calls for trillions of dollars to lavish on state and local governments, “hazard pay” for so-called essential workers, student loan debt forgiveness, and more, according to CBS News. It also looks for billions to prepare for elections in light of safety precautions and logistical concerns brought about by the virus.
McConnell vowed on Tuesday that the bill would never make it past his chamber.
“What you’ve seen in the House [from] Nancy is not something designed to deal with reality, but designed to deal with aspirations. This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic,” McConnell said, according to The Hill.
Senators like Lindsey Graham (R-SC) echoed McConnell, calling the bill red meat for the far-left that would be “dead on arrival.”
Dems ready to spend
Republicans have repeatedly assailed Pelosi for trying to pass irrelevant and costly legislation during the coronavirus, and her new offer might be the most partisan yet.
The battle lines have been forming for weeks, as McConnell feuded with Democrats over the issue of funding for cash-strapped states. McConnell has been clear that he is in no rush to jump into another huge spending bill, and his one stipulation for any new legislation — liability protections to shield businesses from coronavirus lawsuits — has gotten a cool reception from the Dems, according to The Hill.
Democrats insist that the new bill simply cannot wait.
“We have to put money in the pockets of the American people, recognizing the pain, the agony that they are feeling. To those who would suggest a pause, I’ll say the hunger doesn’t take a pause, the rent doesn’t take a pause, the hardship doesn’t take a pause,” Pelosi told MSNBC this week.
Don’t budge on this one, Mitch.