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House to vote Friday on more virus aid, despite GOP skeptics

House to vote Friday on more virus aid, despite GOP skeptics
Posted at 9:30 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 12:26:49-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democrats are pushing Congress’ biggest coronavirus relief bill yet toward expected House passage Friday.

The measure is a $3 trillion behemoth that liberal lawmakers say a beleaguered country badly needs. Most Republicans oppose it say it's simply a bloated election-year Democratic wish list.

The bill, called “The HEROES Act,” would pump almost $1 trillion to states and local governments, renew $1,200 cash payments for individuals, and extend a $600 weekly supplemental federal unemployment benefit.

The package also includes another round of stimulus payments, offering $1,200 in direct cash aid to individuals and up to $6,000 per household.

The bill would also provide about $75 billion more in funding for virus testing, contact tracing and treatment.

Another $200 billion would be set aside for a "Heroes Fund" which would provide hazard pay for essential workers, such as front-line health care employees.

The package also includes a $25 billion bailout for the U.S. Postal Service.

Additionally, a provision in the bill would provide up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness for federal and private student loan borrowers.

Democratic leaders were pressing ahead Friday despite grumbling from moderates about the measure’s massive price tag and progressives who wanted bolder steps, like money to cover workers’ salaries.

As is, the bill will never pass the GOP-run Senate or get President Donald Trump's signature.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already said the 1,815 measure is Democrats' opening offer in what is expected to lead to bipartisan negotiations.