House Democrats’ latest stimulus bill, the HEROES Act, is designed to lay out the party’s basic principles for coronavirus recovery. Unfortunately, those principles include Democrats being very happy to shore up corporations’ and billionaires’ profits and political control of Washington.
n Friday, House Democrats passed the HEROES Act, a bill meant to outline Democrats’ core principles in their negotiations with Senate Republicans about additional stimulus measures to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
The legislation has some good items. It would help ensure that all voters can vote absentee this fall, an absolute necessity given that COVID-19 isn’t going away. The bill includes another round of $1,200 stimulus payments to individuals, which is less than progressive lawmakers wanted, but at least it’s money that normal people get. Undocumented immigrants would get checks this time. It has funding for hazard pay for essential workers.
But if this indeed is a message bill rather than a final proposal, then the newsiest part of the legislation is Democrats’ desire to send a reassuring message to monied interests — one that deliberately lets corporations and billionaires know that the party is intent on fortifying the industry groups that already control Washington.
Since the pandemic started, 27 million Americans have lost their employer-based health insurance. Instead of covering the uninsured through Medicare or Medicaid, Democrats decided it would be better to pay COBRA premiums through January for people who have lost their health insurance. COBRA is expensive and wouldn’t help Americans who were already uninsured — but the move would deliver more revenue to the health care industry that wants the government to pay top-dollar to keep people on the insurance plans they just lost.
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No HEROES here: Democrats seek tax breaks for rich donors & lobbyists in $3 TRILLION Covid-19 wishlist bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposed $3 trillion coronavirus aid bill contains massive tax breaks for wealthy Democrat donors and lobbyists but precious little for working Americans, and has an odd preoccupation with cannabis.
Dubbed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the bill is gargantuan in scope and size – its summary alone is 90 pages, and the full text runs over 1,800 – but despite being a wish list of Democrat priorities, manages to exclude many things dear to the party’s Progressive Caucus.
One of the more incendiary provisions would give access to small-business loans to Washington-based lobbying groups, as multiple progressive activists pointed out on Tuesday.
NEWS: Provisions in Dems' new bill would empower Washington lobbying groups for private equity firms, Wall Street banks, airlines & for-profit colleges to grab small business loans that were meant for mom-and-pop small businesses in local communities t.co/6PLmIXrdIx pic.twitter.com/ZBN3s6O6PR
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) May 12, 2020
Just half of American adults have jobs right now.
Pelosi is using this moment to push for tax breaks for the rich. t.co/QkfD7bd8mp
— Vince Coglianese (@VinceCoglianese) May 12, 2020