House Democrats unveil new $2.2 trillion proposal for COVID aid

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP via Fox News)

By Bradford Betz | Fox News

House Democrats have unveiled a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package intended to “avert catastrophe for schools, small businesses, restaurants, performance spaces, airline workers and others.”

The package is an updated version of the Heroes Act, which lawmakers passed in May. In a statement to her Democratic colleagues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the update will provide the necessary resources “to protect lives, livelihoods, and the life of our democracy over the coming months.”

“It has been more than four months since House Democrats sent the GOP Senate $3.4 trillion in desperately needed coronavirus relief grounded in science and data, and Leader (Mitch) McConnell hit the pause button,” Pelosi said. “In our negotiations with the White House since then, Democrats offered to come down a trillion dollars if Republicans would come up a trillion dollars. Then, we offered to come down $200 billion more, even as the health and economic crisis has worsened and the needs have only grown.”

The House Speaker said the bill is necessary to address the health and economic concerns of working families in the U.S.

Pelosi reportedly spoke with U.S. Treasury of Secretary Steven Mnuchin after Democrats unveiled the plan. The two agreed to speak again Wednesday morning.

Pelosi and House Democratic leaders are expected to hold a vote as early as Thursday before going home to campaign ahead of the November election.

Democratic lawmakers have been hounding leadership for months to put another proposal on the table after relief expired for millions of Americans. But even if the updated version of the Heroes Act passes, it stands little chance of becoming law.

Talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin resumed in recent days after the two negotiations between the two helped narrowly avoid a federal government shutdown on Sept. 30.

During an appearance on MSNBC earlier Monday, Pelosi said Mnuchin “has to come back with much more money to get the job done. So I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic.”