Politics & Policy

Pelosi Unveils $3 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks about the coronavirus response during her weekly news conference in Washington, May 7, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Tuesday unveiled a $3 trillion economic relief bill that will almost certainly not be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said that the bill includes funding for state and local governments and additional direct payments to individual Americans. The bill will also provide for expanded coronavirus testing and contact tracing, student loan relief, and additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Other provisions in the bill are unrelated to the coronavirus. One provision would require federal banking regulators to report to Congress annually on “the availability of access to financial services for minority-owned and women-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses.”

Senator John Barrasso (R., Wy.) said the bill had no chance of success in the Senate.

“That will not pass. It’s not going to be supported,” John Barrasso told CNN. Hoyer said Democrats would press ahead with the new bill even without Republican support.

Congress already passed a massive $2 trillion relief bill in March and arranged for another $500 billion funding injection for small business loans and hospitals struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Kent.) have made clear their opposition to further rounds of spending without congressional debate.

“You’ve seen the talk from both sides about acting, but my goal from the beginning of this, given the extraordinary numbers that we’re racking up to the national debt, is that we need to be as cautious as we can be,” McConnell told Politico in April.

While negotiating the March $2 trillion relief bill, Republicans slammed Democrats for inserting legislation unrelated to the pandemic, with Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) referring to the additions as an “ideological wish-list.” The additions were added following House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s (D., S.C.) comments that the relief bill represented “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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