Why the HEROES Act Likely Won't Pass in the Senate

Despite being passed by the House of Representatives in May, the HEROES Act is unlikely to get signed into law. Among its many statutes, the act would guarantee another one-time payment of $1,200 to U.S. citizens, and another $1,200 for dependents, with a total cost of roughly $3 trillion.

However, chances it would pass the Republican-controlled Senate were slim, partly due to the price tag, which would put it on par with the CARES Act that was signed into law back in March. Then there's the additional (and ongoing) conflict between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump, which was on display back in May after Pelosi criticized the GOP for their slow handling of the coronavirus response as well as the second stimulus package. "It's amazing to me how much patience and how much tolerance someone can have for the pain of others," Pelosi said at the time, per ABC News.

Pelosi went down to say that both political parties "and even down Pennsylvania Avenue" understand were aware of the hardship American's are being faced with. Trump responded quickly with a threat to veto the CARES Act, though it came across as more of an empty gesture given the bill's chances of survival in the Senate. While the president had previously supported an unspecified second stimulus package, he'd also expressed support for payroll tax cuts as well.

The White House has said that the HEROES Act was "more concerned with delivering on longstanding partisan and ideological wishlists than with enhancing the ability of our Nation to deal with the public health and economic challenges we face." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had previously criticized the act along the same lines, calling it "random ideas from her most liberal members and slapped the word 'coronavirus' on top of it."

Since passing the House, several Republicans in the Senate were reported to have called the bill "dead on arrival," a sentiment that Trump himself echoed. Some of the provisions have drawn specific criticism from other GOP lawmakers, claiming that the expanded unemployment benefits would de-incentivize work and cause long-term harm to the economy. That same month, the Senate had also elected to table any further discussion about or votes on a second stimulus check until June. While the month has arrived, it seems fairly clear that the HEROES Act won't make it to Trump's desk unless its provisions were dramatically re-written.