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House Democrats unveil $3T HEROES Act to provide new COVID-19 aid

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House Democrats unveil $3T HEROES Act to provide new COVID-19 aid
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks Tuesday about The HEROES Act, a $3 trillion bill to aid in recovery from COVID-19 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Photo by Saul Loeb/UPI | License Photo

May 12 (UPI) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders unveiled a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package Tuesday that addresses elements that were left out of previous measures, on which the lower chamber is expected to vote on Friday.

The 1,800-page Helping Emergency Responders Overcome Emergency Situations, or HEROES, Act is intended to provide money for state and local governments, rent and mortgage relief, hazard pay for front-line workers and funds to aid mail-in voting programs.

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House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer told lawmakers Tuesday the chamber will meet Friday to vote on the proposal.

"The legislation includes funding for state, local, tribal governments; hospitals and health care workers; USPS; rental and mortgage assistance; and more," Hoyer said.

Some are doubtful, however, that the relief package has much chance to succeed.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the proper step now is to assess whether the first relief package, passed in late March, is working as intended. That $2 trillion package included stimulus payments to most Americans.

"We now have a debt the size of our economy," McConnell said. "So I've said, and the president has said as well, that we have to take a pause here and take a look at what we've done."

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Some Democratic lawmakers, including Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, say the measure doesn't go far enough. They say it should include a $600 billion "Paycheck Guarantee" program, which House leaders say is too expensive.

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