NY lawmakers demand Senate action on coronavirus relief bill

Coronavirus
chuck schumer

Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a news conference about COVID-19 financial relief on Nov. 15, 2020.

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MANHATTAN, N.Y. — New York lawmakers demanded the Senate take action to approve a new COVID-19 relief bill on Sunday.

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to accept the results of the presidential election and immediately put on the Senate floor a comprehensive relief package that helps the unemployed, renters, homeowners, small businesses, state and local governments, health care institutions and schools.

“The Republican Senate refuses to move forward on any kind of COVID bill that has any kind of relief for the American people,” Schumer said. “We are urging McConnell to re-examine his position and work in a bipartisan way with Democrats and support the kind of COVID bill that meets the needs of New York and the needs of the American people.”

Watch the news conference below

The renewed push comes after President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that Congress “must now do a COVID relief bill.”

Later in the day, Schumer tweeted, “To Senate Republicans: Americans need help to fight the COVID crisis. We don’t have time for games. We must pass the HEROES Act in the Senate.”

In late September, House Democrats proposed the HEROES Act, which included $2.2 trillion in spending. Previously, House Democrats were pushing a $3.4 trillion spending package.

In addition to another set of $1,200 direct payments to millions of Americans, House Democrats propose using $225 million for education, more funding for the struggling airline industry, and $436 million for local governments. The set of proposals would also include a $600 per week unemployment supplement, which expired at the end of July.

“This $2.2 trillion Heroes Act provides the absolutely needed resources to protect lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy over the coming months,” Pelosi said in a letter to House Democrats. “It includes new funding needed to avert catastrophe for schools, small businesses, restaurants, performance spaces, airline workers and others.”

Last week, chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell endorsed an economic stimulus.

“I think we will have a stronger recovery if we can get more fiscal support” from Congress, Powell said.

Renewed calls for an economic stimulus come as coronavirus cases are rising to record levels throughout the United States. A number of state governors are mulling reimplementing business closures in an attempt to stave off the spread of the coronavirus.

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