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12 May, 2020 22:45

No HEROES here: Democrats seek tax breaks for rich donors & lobbyists in $3 TRILLION Covid-19 wishlist bill

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.

Pelosi’s proposal includes extending unemployment benefits through January 2021, offering a hint as to how long the Democrats intend the Covid-19 shutdowns to last. More than 30 million Americans so far have been put out of work by the closures. 

However, it includes only a single $1,200 payment to individual Americans, and provisions to prevent people from “double dipping” into government stimulus. Meanwhile, wealthy Americans would get massive tax breaks, while those in high-tax Democrat-controlled states would once again be able to claim them on federal returns.

With most House Democrats out of Washington for weeks, it appears Pelosi and her committee leaders drafted the bill largely on their own – and without any input from the Republicans or the White House.

Republicans have dismissed the proposal out of hand, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) declaring on Tuesday the HEROES Act was “not something designed to deal with reality but designed to deal with aspirations.”

One conservative-leaning outlet trying to parse the bill found repeated references to cannabis, prompting derisive comments that one would “have to be high” to pass it as it currently stands.

Some Democrats actually confirmed that, with Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy telling Politico the bill is meant as a “negotiating start-point.”

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ own Progressive Caucus has signaled that it needs more time to read the bill and propose amendments, with co-chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) declaring, “Under no circumstances are we ready to vote on the bill this week.” Pelosi originally intended to hold a vote by Friday.

Also on rt.com Small businesses relief unlocked as Senate agrees on $250bn PPP Covid-19 expansion held up by Democrats

So far, Congress has passed three rounds of stimulus and relief packages worth over $2 trillion since the pandemic was declared in March, but partisan brinkmanship held up two of them for several weeks.

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