WASHINGTON, D.C.–The next relief bill is called the Heroes Act and the U.S. House is expected to vote on it Friday. But, Republicans in the Republican-controlled Senate have already said they believe the plan is too expensive, with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), calling it “aspirational”.
“I can tell you that’s gonna be a non-starter in the Senate on the Republican side,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.).
LISTEN: Sen. Mike Braun talks about the next relief bill
Braun said in a Wednesday conference call that he would support new legislation that funds anything that lawmakers couldn’t get done in the last relief bill, but the caveats were that it must make “common sense”, and be done in a way that would not incur significant cost.
“All of us would be interested in that.”
Where the interest of many Republicans stopped was the $3 trillion price tag, which includes funding the requirement that many federal employees telework through the end of 2020, and a hazard pay bump of as much as $25,000 for front line workers.
Braun said he believes the bill will not go anywhere unless it’s “tailored down” to cover “things that we were wanting to do and missed”, and called it “political staging”.
Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), called the bill a “strong bill”, and said he believes there are provisions in it that would help keep any disparity with people of color from getting worse.
LISTEN: Rep. Andre Carson talks about the next relief bill
“We work to protect the health of the most vulnerable among us,” he said in a Wednesday press call, “to provide support for small businesses, which are the heart and soul of our communities and to ensure all front line workers have the resources that they need.”
Part of those resources, according to the bill, is that $13 per hour raise, plus bonuses, for those workers. The bill also includes another “stimulus” payment, that can be up to $6,000 for families.
Part of the reason the bill has been criticized heavily by Republicans is that the money provided for cities and states is seen as a bailout, particularly for New York and Illinois, states which have had problems keeping state budgets in the black. Carson said he is pleased at the money that Indianapolis has received from the past relief bills, which includes around $50 million for the airport, and support for the workers there.
“The Heroes Act puts workers and families first by safeguarding their economic security and making sure we have the testing needed to protect peoples health and safely reopen our economy,” he said.