Bernie Sanders is one of the loudest voices in the Senate speaking out about the HEROES stimulus bill that passed the House of Representative on Friday. The former presidential candidate stands far from his conservative counterparts in the Senate, though. While most GOP members of Congress have called the Democrat plan "dead on arrival," Sanders is upset for a simpler reason.
For him, it's not doing enough to help those who are in critical need during the coronavirus pandemic. The HEROES act doesn't include a paycheck guarantee, doesn't include the proposed recurring $2,000 monthly stimulus money and doesn't correct the delay involved with getting the money out to actual citizens. Many folks are still waiting on the first stimulus check.
$1,200 doesn't cut it. Congress must send a monthly $2,000 check to every person who needs it until this crisis is over. pic.twitter.com/u23UMVwCpl— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 16, 2020
Sanders shared a video on Twitter discussing the proposal for $2,000 monthly for those in need, outlining just why $1,200 is not enough for middle class and low-income families to live while also paying rent and dealing with rising food costs.
"While wealthy people quarantine in the luxury of their summer homes, low-income workers are being forced to go back to work and put their lives on the line," Sanders wrote on social media. "This virus has grossly exposed the inequities of our economic system."
The bill not going far enough for Sanders and others working alongside him in Congress, but the same can't be said about the other side. Republican lawmakers have been quick to deal a swift defeat to the bill and have criticized most aspects of the bill, especially provisions included to help illegal immigrants and the general price tag. Any debate over the bill could take quite a while, with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he wasn't feeling any "urgency" to act immediately.
On top of that, Donald Trump has added similar sentiments and threatened to veto any bill that didn't meet the White House's goals for a second stimulus. This follows rumors that the White House would support a second stimulus payment to citizens, giving some fuel to the debate that will follow in the Senate.
The HEROES act would provide $1,200 to individuals much like the first stimulus payment, and up to $6,000 for households. It also covers funding for groups, hazard pay, coronavirus testing, and assistance for rent and mortgage. This act also includes assistance for immigrants and dependents aged 17 and older, two groups left out of the first round of stimulus payments. It remains to be seen what the final version of a stimulus bill would look like, but the next few months will showcase what citizens can expect before the election in November.