Bill Passed for Second Stimulus Check and Hazard Pay for Essential Workers

On May 15, the bill for Second Stimulus Check and Hazard for Essential Workers was successfully passed by the House. This happened in spite of the Republican-led Senate objecting the move of pumping more stimulus money into the economy. Nonetheless, the House votes proved otherwise. The Heroes Act was passed5f on a 208 -199 vote, with a unanimous vote across all Democrats.

While the bill was successfully passed in the House, the White House and Republican-led Senate indicated that the Heroes Act was most likely going to be set aside, as policymakers continue to ponder on the best way possible to salvage the economy. The Democrats believe that pumping $3 trillion into the economy would do a long way into the American economy. Whereas Republicans are of the opinion that pumping huge sums of money into the economy may lead to a greater economy fallout in the nearest future.

This new relief package consists of second $1,200 stimulus checks, $200 billion in hazard pay, additional six months $600 COVID-19 unemployment, food and housing assistance, financial support for state and local governments, $75 billion for coronavirus testing and tracing, student loan forgiveness, new employee retention tax credit, etc. This stimulus package would be the fourth so far. It is titled the Heroes Act, with $3 trillion in allocation. The other three stimulus packages have been made law and have been implemented all across the United States.

The 1,800 paged Heroes Act basically includes most Americans: students, families, unemployed, employed, employers, and governments (state, local, tribal).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) in support of the Heroes Act said many Americans are “suffering too much, in so many ways” and all the House seeks is to “lessen their pain.”

“Not to act now is not only irresponsible in a humanitarian way, it is irresponsible because it’s only going to cost more, more in terms of lives, livelihood, cost to the budget, cost to our democracy,” Pelosi said amid the division in the House.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) speaking in line with the thoughts of many republicans said that the new legislation was more of a political move than humanitarian.

“The bill is simply a Democratic agenda masquerading as a response to the coronavirus pandemic,” Cole said. “The bill will go nowhere and go there fast. … Why we’re going through this exercise rather than negotiating in bipartisan manner is beyond my understanding.”

The Trump administration officials and Republicans have asked that more time be given to see the performance of the other three programs in the economy before launching a fourth. Already, $3 trillion has been injected into the US economy from the three previous programs. The Trump administration officials and Republicans agree that there would be a need for more action soon but caution must be applied.

White House Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany in response to the new legislation said: “The president has said he would talk about state and local aid but it cannot become a pretext for bailing out blue states that have gotten themselves into financial trouble, so while he’s open to discussing it he has no immediate plans to move forward.” Further saying that the “Pelosi bill has been entirely unacceptable.”

According to White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, the clash of priorities would make it quite difficult to come to an agreement on the fourth stimulus package.

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