After opposition to the HEROES Act from the Republicans and members of her own party, Nancy Pelosi called for unity on Wednesday.
The HEROES Act, drafted as the fourth phase of coronavirus relief legislation, is facing flak from all sides. Mitch McConnell dismissed the possibility of the bill’s passage through the Senate. Lindsey Graham called it ‘dead on arrival’. The bill most notably contains another round of $1200 relief checks amongst other relief provisions.
Republics are not the only ones unhappy with the legislation. Progressives in the House are unimpressed too. Pramila Jayapal expressed her disappointment with the bill on Twitter. She also urged Democratic leadership to delay the vote until Friday.
Pelosi Calls for Unity To Put Pressure on Republicans
No Republican in the House or Senate is expected to vote for the legislation. Republicans are also in no haste to come and negotiate with the Democrats.
Pelosi calling for unity may have more to do with putting pressure on the Republicans. The dissenting progressives in the House, like Rep Jayapal and Rep. Pocan, have not threatened to vote against the legislation on Friday.
The only Democrat to not vote with the Democrats in the last relief bill passed on April 23 was Rep Occasio-Cortez. While its likely Democrats could give a show of unity in the vote on Friday, its chances of passing in the Senate remain slim.
$1200 Relief Checks in the Bill. A Risk?
The Democrats have made a provision for another round of $1200 relief checks in the legislation. After days of teasing supporters with the possibility of $2000 relief checks, the final amount is likely to disappoint many.
The real danger Democrats face is Trump outflanking them on the left. He already did the same in March when he ordered Steve Mnuchin to add $1200 to the CARES package. He could outmatch Democrats yet again, a situation which would put moderates and progressives in the House in a tough spot.
While Speaker Pelosi is right to call for unity, her party could be caught by the president. Unlike traditional Republicans, Trump is not fiscally conservative. He would not hesitate to offer $2000 relief checks if it helped him gain political capital.
(Image Credit – Gage Skidmore)