Back in May, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act, a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill that would have extended the then-current $600 weekly unemployment benefits to Americans until January 2021 and also would have issued another round of $1,200 stimulus checks.
Needless to say, the House bill was quickly shot down by Republicans, who currently control the Senate. The Republicans’ main reason for blocking the passage of the bill in the Senate came down to the $3 trillion cost, which they said was too high, and the continuations of the extra $600 weekly unemployment benefits.
In the spirit of compromise, yesterday House Democrats unveiled Heroes Act 2.0, a reworked bill that cut the final cost to $2.2 trillion. Here’s what the Democrats’ new stimulus bill includes (via The Hill):
- A second round of stimulus checks: The bill provides another round of $1,200 checks to most Americans.
- Extended unemployment benefits: The bill brings back the extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit until January 2021.
- Emergency aid for state and local governments: The bill includes $436 billion for struggling state and local governments.
- Support for schools and childcare: The bill provides $225 billion for childcare and schools.
- Support for passenger airline employees and contractors: The bill would provide $25 billion in support of avoiding layoffs at passenger airlines and another $3 billion for contractors who service passenger airlines.
- Restaurant boost: The bill gives $120 billion in aid to the struggling restaurant industry.
House Democrats say the Heroes Act 2.0 is their attempt to compromise with Republicans, who said the first version of the bill cost too much. The bill is expected to be put to a vote and pass by Thursday in the House. However, it’s unlikely the Republican-controlled Senate will bring the bill to a vote there if it passes the House. Republicans have long resisted another round of the $1,200 stimulus checks or bringing back the $600 per week in extra unemployment benefits.