It appears House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is going to have to try again if she wants to pass the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act.
The Democrat’s latest coronavirus stimulus proposal, totaling roughly $3 trillion in new spending, was immediately rejected by Republicans in the Senate, who viewed it as a political wishlist, the Washington Examiner reported.
Though this was not the first time GOP lawmakers have criticized Pelosi for pushing what they believe to be pork-laden and unrealistic legislation, the costly HEROES Act attracted particular backlash.
“Not something designed to deal with reality”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) chastised Democrats for advancing an unworkable proposal, saying the multitrillion-dollar bill was “not something designed to deal with reality.”
The bill would have effectively doubled the nearly amount already being spent on stimulus amid widespread coronavirus-related shutdowns. It sought increased funding for state and local governments as well as financial assistance for individuals impacted by the economic crisis.
While many Republicans dismissed the bill as unfeasible, Democrats portrayed its provisions as critical to the nation’s recovery.
“We need big, bold action, and yet Leader McConnell seems totally divorced from that reality,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said. “We need to act in a big and bold way. The House has started the ball rolling. Republicans and the president ought to understand that and help us move in a big, bold way, not stand in the way.”
“A lot of money”
When the roughly $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, passed in March, there was widespread bipartisan support for ongoing business closures and stay-at-home orders. In the weeks since, however, many Republican leaders have pushed to reopen the economy.
With millions of Americans out of work, GOP officials have largely argued for a phasing out of the existing restrictions. Most states have already begun the reopening process.
In any case, Republicans seem unlikely to move forward on any bill with such a hefty price tag without sufficient deliberation.
As Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) tweeted in response to the proposal: “$3,000,000,000,000 is a lot of money. Maybe we should talk about it first?”
Many Republicans on Capitol Hill and off think the answer to that question is a resounding yes.