TOPLINE: Democrats’ Heroes Act 2.0 isn’t anything we haven’t seen before: it’s another messaging bill — a socialist wish list with zero chance of becoming law that’s chock full of shocking provisions completely unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PELOSI UNDER PRESSURE
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is under immense pressure from her own caucus to stop obstructing legislation to address the suffering of American families and businesses due to the coronavirus crisis. Republicans have a plan: pass H.R. 8265, Rep. Steve Chabot’s (R-Ohio) bill to extend the wildly successful Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the end of the year.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) filed a discharge petition that, with the support of all Republicans and 20 Democrats, would bypass Speaker Pelosi’s obstructionism and bring H.R. 8265 to the House Floor for a vote. 23 House Democrats just sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi declaring their intention to sign a discharge petition in the absence of a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package: “It is our request that you continue to negotiate towards a bipartisan deal. Otherwise, a discharge petition is the only potential option for COVID-19 related Action on the House Floor.”
Instead of listening to these Democrats, Speaker Pelosi has chosen to put forth the Heroes Act 2.0, another messaging bill with no chance of becoming law.
NOT A REAL DEAL
Besides being full of dangerous non-COVID related provisions, the Heroes Act 2.0 isn’t a serious attempt at negotiation. In fact, Speaker Pelosi has shown very little interest in reaching a bipartisan agreement on new COVID-19 relief legislation.
POLITICO reports that the introduction of the HEROES ACT 2.0 “comes after Pelosi refused, for weeks, to consider passing another relief bill amid a lengthy standoff with Republicans and rising demands from centrist Democrats that the House take more action before the election.”
In fact, while Republicans have offered to meet Democrats at the table on targeted relief legislation, POLITICO again reports that Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed targeted relief for Americans, “saying it only weakened Democrats’ negotiating hand in talks with Republicans.”
It couldn’t be clearer. With the election looming, Speaker Pelosi is playing politics: focused on trying to make Democrats look good without actually doing anything to help the American people. In the midst of the worst pandemic and economic crisis in a century, this is shameful behavior and no way to lead.
HEROES ACT 2.0:
Price tag: approximately $2.2 trillion. The provisions below are only some of the non-COVID-19-related power grabs in this toxically partisan bill:
- Defunds the police by removing $600 million from the original Heroes Act intended for the COPS program and state and local law enforcement assistance.
- Extends $600/week UI supplement through Jan. 31, 2021, plus a transition to allow the supplement to continue through March 31, 2021 for those who have not exhausted their benefits, meaning businesses will be competing with unemployment benefits for workers through spring of 2021.
- Provides subsidized Obamacare to anyone receiving UI during the public health emergency.
- Allows illegal immigrants to receive direct stimulus payments because the bill does not require social security number verification.
- Removes safeguards in the Paycheck Protection Program that would prevent taxpayer money from bailing out Planned Parenthood.
- Mandates a blanket release for certain covered federal prisoners and alleged criminals, while imposing a high burden for the government to prove they present a risk of harm to society upon release.
- Provides “deferred action” and work authorization during the emergency declaration and for 90 days after for illegal aliens working in jobs that could be held by out of work Americans.
- Expands FFCRA paid leave employer mandates by extending the requirements, applying them to all employers including small businesses, allowing more categories of leave to be compensated, and subjecting small businesses to lawsuits for alleged violations.
- Federalizes elections, with only five weeks to election day, by including stringent, impossible to achieve mandates on how states must run elections, including early voting, no ID requirement for in-person voting, same-day registration, and no excuse vote by mail without safeguards or restrictions on ballot harvesting.
- Provides a tax break for millionaires and billionaires by repealing SALT limitations for 2020.
- Expands Obamacare through a new Special Enrollment period, which has already been rejected by the White House.
- Allows the marijuana industry to access banking services and products.
- Uses taxpayer dollars to bail out failing multiemployer pension plans while failing to include any needed reforms to fix the problem.
- Imposes a one-size-fits-all OSHA rule on all employers, which is counterproductive given the ever-changing circumstances created by COVID-19.
- Forgives $10,000 per eligible private student loan borrower, and freezes loan payments and interest on all federal student loans until at least Sept. 31, 2021.
- Pushes back the deadlines for the Census and delays final counting.
- Fails to include sensible liability reforms for our front line providers.
- Bans information on lower cost health coverage options from reaching Americans.
- Does not include school choice, and prohibits funds from supporting educational freedom for families.
Click here or on the image above to read the full 2,000+ page bill.
BOTTOM LINE: The Heroes Act 2.0 does nothing to help American families and businesses reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic because it’s dangerous legislation with no chance of becoming law. Speaker Pelosi must return to the negotiating table to work out bipartisan, immediate relief for the American people, otherwise Republicans have no choice but to proceed with bipartisan discharge petitions to provide that relief.