Americans all across the country are hoping for a second stimulus check if the HEALS Act passes, which would include direct payments to Americans, and also provide $8 billion for military weaponry. According to CBS affiliate WUSA, the provision would provide funds for equipment such as F-35 fighters, Apache helicopters and infantry carriers. The money would go to defense contractors Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and likely others.
The bill was drafted by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama who states would benefit as some of the F-35s may be delivered to an Air National Guard unit in Montgomery. "The defense industrial base — a lot of it's been eroded right now. A lot of people are off from work," Shelby said. "We've got a lot of suppliers involved in there." A spokeswoman for Shelby added that America's defense industrial base is "essential to our economy and to the defense of our nation" and stated that the bill would support millions of jobs. One of Shelby's fellow GOP senators, Martha McSally (Arizona), has been pushing for a $650 million project for replacing the wings of A-10 Thunderbolt ground support aircraft. WUSA notes that many of these planes are based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.
The GOP bill has been met with criticism from Senate Democrats, with House Appropriations Committee Chairman Nita Lowey (New York), saying, "They turned the appropriations portion of the bill into a spending spree on weapons systems and a new federal building designed to block competition to the president’s hotel." Lowey added, "It's clear to me that amphibious ships don’t feed hungry children." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York) added, "Did you see the states it goes to? Maine. Arizona. Kentucky – we have a list." Schumer was pointing out that the bill would send the military funds to states where Senate Republicans are defending their seats in the fall.
Does HEALS Act include funding for new FBI building and military expenditures? How do these items help fight against coronavirus? #TrumpVirus— Joan Weiner (@jweiner1106) August 1, 2020
At this time, lawmakers continue to debate and negotiate, but there is no word on when an agreement may be reached. With millions of Americans now reliant on only their state unemployment benefits, many experts have cautioned that the U.S. could be in for financial danger. A temporary agreement could potentially be made regarding an extension on the unemployment benefits, but that remains to be seen.