House Dems trying to add on to Coronavirus relief bill

House Dems trying to add on to Coronavirus relief bill
March 24 15:08 2020 Print This Article

Just as a bipartisan group of Senators was on the verge of reaching an agreement on a relief package to deal with medical and economic impacts of the Coronavirus crisis, Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a 1400-page bill that has provisions completely unrelated to the virus. Breitbart News documents some of the items Pelosi added to the relief bill, including major changes to election law.

One of the provisions was mandatory Election Day voter registration, which would increase the risk of voter fraud. Another change would be allowing “ballot harvesting”, a practice where non-profits or political parties can go door-to-door or gather at workplaces and shopping centers and ask people to fill out absentee ballots in front of them and deliver stacks of ballots to election offices. That could lead to voter intimidation or coercion and deny voters the right to cast a secret ballot.

There are also elements of the Green New Deal climate change policy contained in the Pelosi bill, including mandating new fuel efficiency standards for airlines and expanding tax credits for windmill and solar panel purchases. The bill also includes a $25 billion bailout for the U.S. Postal Service, most of which would go to the employee pension fund. There are also new mandates over how corporations are governed included. None of these added provisions were debated in the House of Representatives and Republicans had no input.

The original Senate relief bill focussed on economic relief to families and businesses, improving state and local emergency preparedness, and financial assistance to hospitals and medical providers. Here are some of the Senate bill provisions:

Assistance to families:

  • Payments of $1200 per adult and $500 per child for singles earning up to $75,000, single parents earning up to $112,000 and married couples earning up to $150,000.
  • Extending unemployment benefits for 13 weeks and adding benefits by $600 per week.

Business loans – A $350 billion loan package for small and large businesses. Loan forgiveness will be given for money small businesses use to keep workers on the payroll.

Emergency preparedness:

  • $5 billion designated for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund.
  • $400 million in FEMA grants to state and local first responders.
  • $11 billion for research on Coronavirus vaccines and treatments.
  • $75 billion for hospitals and medical providers.

There is additional funding for veterans health care ($20 billion), K-12 and higher education ($20 billion), and community development grants for state and local governments ($10 billion).

You can reach your Representative at 202-225-3121 and your Senators at 202-224-3121. Switchboards close at 5:00 pm today and re-open at 8:30 am Wednesday.