Senate Republicans Put Politics Ahead of People
WASHINGTON, DC—Yesterday, 159 days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800, a bold and comprehensive piece of legislation to address the ongoing public health crisis posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, Senate Republicans voted on an incredibly inadequate COVID-19 response bill that represented nothing more than cheap political theater. The bill failed to garner the support necessary to pass the U.S. Senate. In response, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) said:
“The American people’s lives and livelihoods are on the line, but Republican Leadership is more focused on political gamesmanship—and their latest COVID-19 proposal is further proof. The bill Senate Republicans voted on doesn’t provide direct economic impact payments, cuts emergency unemployment benefits by 50 percent, conditions desperately needed aid for schools at the expense of student, teacher, and faculty safety, and fails to provide any assistance to the tens of millions of Americans struggling to buy groceries and keep a roof over their heads. Moreover, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted just this week that Senate Republicans have no interest in passing a comprehensive COVID-19 response package until after the 2020 Election, causing workers, families and small businesses further hardship when they can least afford it.
It’s time for the White House and Republicans to end the charades, put people over politics, and work in good faith with Democrats to pass a piece of legislation that makes critical investments like those in The Heroes Act.”
On May 15, 2020, House Democrats passed The Heroes Act and passed an updated version of the bill, H.R. 925, again on October 1, 2020. If enacted, the bill would provide direct economic impact payments to workers and families, extend unemployment benefits, guarantee hazard pay to those on the frontlines that they need and deserve, and make critical investments in state and local governments, schools, affordable housing, COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, fair elections, and much more. Unfortunately, both versions of The Heroes Act are languishing in Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s self-described ‘legislative graveyard.’