Left Menu
Development News Edition

U.S. House aims to pass $3 trillion Democratic coronavirus bill rejected by Republicans

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 15-05-2020 22:15 IST | Created: 15-05-2020 21:14 IST
U.S. House aims to pass $3 trillion Democratic coronavirus bill rejected by Republicans

The U.S. House of Representatives was set on Friday to debate and vote on a $3 trillion Democratic bill aimed at easing the human and economic toll of a coronavirus pandemic that has killed 85,000 Americans and shut down much of the economy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats crafted the far-reaching legislation that Senate Republicans have promised will be "dead on arrival" in their chamber.

The House measure includes $500 billion in aid to state governments, another round of direct payments to individuals and families to help stimulate the economy, and hazard pay to healthcare workers and others on the front line of the pandemic. If passed, it would double the amount of spending Congress has authorized since March to fight the coronavirus.

But unlike the previous four coronavirus-response bills, this one appears ready to land on the House floor with little to no support from Republicans who accuse Democrats of using the crisis merely to send political messages. "It's more like a liberal Christmas card wish list," Representative Tom Cole said during debate on the bill on Friday. "This bill is going nowhere, and nowhere fast."

Republican leaders in Congress have said more time is needed to gauge the effectiveness of the $3 trillion in aid already enacted into law. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said any new legislation must protect businesses from any liability lawsuits they may face for reopening during the pandemic - an idea advanced by Republican President Donald Trump.

Some 36.5 million people - or more than one in five workers - in the United States have filed for unemployment since the crisis began. Democrats argued Americans desperately need the relief. "I don't give a damn about sending a message. I want to send help to those in desperate need," said Representative James McGovern, citing long lines at food pantries around the country.

Highlighting the economic fallout, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom of California, the country's most populous state, on Thursday proposed deep government spending cuts and warned of further reductions without more aid from Congress. "That's the purpose of the federal government - to protect us," he said.

SOCIAL DISTANCING Friday's vote is likely to bring about 400 or so House members back to Washington for only the third time since late March. It will be governed by social distancing and other protective measures so the House does not become a breeding ground for the illness it is trying to battle.

Some moderate and liberal Democrats have expressed doubts about rushing the legislation through. Given Republican opposition, Pelosi's gambit might spark a new round of negotiations on further relief among the Republican-controlled Senate, the Democratic-led House and the Republican White House.

McConnell said on Thursday he was open to another coronavirus relief bill and was talking to members of Trump's administration about possible legislation. But he declined to say in an interview with Fox News when his party might start negotiating another such bill. Besides the coronavirus bill, the House will also try to pass a measure that would allow members for the first time to cast votes in the chamber by proxy during the pandemic.

Many Republicans also oppose that measure, saying it was essential that lawmakers vote in person in the House. Pelosi said she did not know when the House would resume regular sessions, noting that Washington's city government had pushed back its shelter-in-place order to June 8. "I would hope it wouldn't be any longer than that," Pelosi told reporters.



COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

COVID-19: Weighing up the benefits and limitations of edtech platforms

Edtech companies shouldnt focus on merely pushing contents, but to provide an interactive, effective teaching and learning environment. ...


Latest News

954 hectares of land along Yamuna floodplain still under cultivation: NGT panel

A committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal NGT to monitor the cleaning of Yamuna has informed it that 954 hectares of land along the rivers floodplain is still under cultivation and sought eviction of those possessing the land. ...

Tennis-Romania's Halep hopes to play in Palermo next month

Romanian womens world number two Simona Halep hopes to take part in next months Palermo Open, the first WTA event to be held after the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, she said on Sunday. I have not yet made a clear decision but I ...

Heavy Saurashtra rains: Van swept away, man feared drowned

A man was feared drowned while two others managed to save themselves on Sunday when their pick-up van was swept away due to strong river current on the outskirts of Rajkot in Gujarat, officials said. The Bolero vehicle was crossing a bridge...

British PM to lead UK-wide clap to mark NHS 72nd anniversary

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead a nationwide clap to mark the 72nd anniversary of the state-funded National Health Service NHS on Sunday. The British public are being encouraged to join in the round of applause at 1700 hrs local t...

Give Feedback