This is not 'Christmas': Dems pass $3 trillion relief bill

This is not 'Christmas': Dems pass $3 trillion relief bill

"These are the American people. They are suffering. They need help."

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a colossal $3 trillion dollar Democrat-sponsored coronavirus relief bill -- doubling the amount of aid already approved by Congress to respond to the crisis. But Senate Republicans say it's dead on arrival.

The so-called Heroes Act would extend to all corners of the U.S. economy. It includes $500 billion in aid to struggling state governments, another round of direct payments of up to $6,000 per U.S. household to help stimulate the economy, and hazard pay for healthcare workers and others on the front lines.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says no expense should be spared to provide relief to the millions of Americans out of work, and those fighting the disease.

"Let us come together and give them a signal that we care by allocating the resources to meet their need."

The bill also allows the Speaker to temporarily implement remote proxy voting for 45 days.

Republicans say the measure is unconstitutional and that the House should return to Washington, like the Republican-led Senate, but Democrats say it's more important to slow the spread of the virus in Washington, which is under lockdown until June 8th.

GOP Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole opposes the aid package, likening it to a Christmas wish list.

"So much that's in this bill has nothing to do with the current crisis. It's more like a liberal Christmas card wish list. It would make more sense in my view, Madame speaker, to just send it straight to Santa Claus than to send it to the United States Senate. It'll have a better chance of becoming law that way."

Pelosi hit back at that notion.

"This is not a Christmas tree. There's nothing joyful about this."

But Congressional rising star, New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says the bill doesn't go far enough on progressive issues.

"We need to do more. We need to make sure that people get recurring payments, you know, multiple stimulus checks to get through this. We need to make sure that people feel safe in their housing... I think we can go further, especially when it comes to healthcare. We want to get to a place where people feel comfortable going to the doctor, and not being afraid of the bill."

U.S. President Donald Trump, actively pushing to reopen the U.S. economy, has promised to veto the measure, also being called the 'Phase 4' stimulus bill.

"Uh - no, not so much phase four."

Trump had previously touted 'Phase 4' as the long-awaited infrastructure bill he campaigned on to create jobs, though he's also said another round of checks to Americans isn't off the table.

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