Republican senators quickly rejected the $3 trillion package House Democrats unveiled on Tuesday.
“Its got so much unrelated to the coronavirus, its dead on arrival here in terms of a viable idea,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Republicans control the Senate, making their support necessary for legislation to get passed.
The package from the caucus of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “is not something designed to deal with reality, but designed to deal with aspirations,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said during a press conference in Washington.
“This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for a practical response to the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
“What Nancy Pelosi is proposing will never pass the Senate,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a member of the Senate Republican leadership, told reporters.
While ostensibly a bill designed to provide further relief from economic struggles linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the House package was described by critics as including a number of measures with little connection to the health crisis. It includes $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, the rollback on the cap on state and local taxes, and a requirement for banking regulators to issue an annual “diversity and inclusion report.”
COVID-19 is a new disease from China caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus.
The package was described by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the number two Republican in the Senate, as “a laundry list of agenda items that have nothing to do with the coronavirus but are part of their more permanent long-term agenda.”
“It clearly is an effort to try to create talking points for the 2020 election. Its not going anywhere. We all know that,” he said.
Pelosi, though, said in a statement delivered from Washington that “it is imperative we address the needs of the American people.”
The HEROES Act focuses on three pillars, she said: opening the economy safely, honoring heroes like healthcare workers, and giving more money directly to Americans.