October 8, 2020
Last week, House Democrats released a revised HEROS Act, reducing the total coronavirus relief package to $2.2 trillion. While the White House has sought to keep the price tag at $1.5 trillion and even lower for some Senate Republicans, Democrats released the bill as a last attempt to secure COVID-19 relief funding before the election. The bill provides $75 billion to support coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, and treatment, while funding another round of economic impact payments of $1,200 per taxpayer.
In addition, the bill includes language to amend the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to include removal and disposal, or aid in the removal and disposal, of surplus livestock and poultry due to significant supply chain interruption during an emergency period.
The bill states that support would be provided in direct payments, technical and financial assistance, marketing assistance, and purchases.
The bill specifies that the Secretary must provide written notice to Congress detailing which commodities would receive support, the maximum financial benefit per commodity, expected entities/individuals that would receive payments, intended policy goals, and projected impacts on commodity markets. This report would be required prior to any spending.
While both parties have said they support another COVID-19 relief bill, they have radically different notions of its content. With continuous disagreement, especially surrounding funding for state and local governments, President Trump announced that he would end negotiations with Speaker Pelosi until after the election.
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