Schumer proposes 'Heroes Fund,' $25000 pay increase to frontline workers

Grant Boone
April 9, 2020

Chuck Schumer of NY who on Tuesday called for up to $25,000 "heroes" pay for frontline health care and service industry workers.

Besides doubling the amount requested on Tuesday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the pair said they see the additional emergency funds as an "interim" package, and look forward to a CARES 2 Act that "must provide transformational relief as the American people weather this assault on their lives and livelihoods".

Mnuchin's statement came after McConnell said he too would be seeking additional funds for small businesses. "They are there for us, so we must be there for them". "We want to assure everybody, if you don't get a loan this week, you'll get a loan next week or the following week, the money will be there". "The money will be there".

"They are recommending that just let Nancy Pelosi pass it on her own, that we can all stay home", Massie said Wednesday on Fox Business.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Associated Press on Friday that there will be another package and that health care must be at the "top of the list".

McConnell hoped to pass his $250 billion plan with a unanimous voice vote on Thursday, as that's the only way for Congress to vote right now without returning to Washington.

Governor Loans 500 State-Owned ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile inventory
The virus has exploded in NY , where it has infected 123,160 people, killing 4,159 of them as of Monday. Meanwhile, Newsom says about 2.3 million Californians have filed unemployment claims with the state.

Federal employees in public-facing positions, who are not teleworking from home, would also be granted the new benefit of up to $25,000, including Title 5 employees and all employees of federal personnel systems like the U.S. Postal Service, TSA, VA, GAA, District of Columbia, and federally-funded Indian programs, reads Peters' proposal.

They say they will approve the $250 billion in assistance to small businesses, but want $125 billion of that channeled through community-based financial institutions that serve farmers, families, women, minorities and veterans.

The Republican leader plans a vote this week to supplement the $350 billion approved for companies in the just-passed $2.2 trillion rescue package with an immediate additional $250 billion or so, according to GOP operatives. As businesses shutter to stop the virus' spread, it has hurled the US economy toward a recession. This would follow the March 27 enactment of $2.3 trillion in economic stimulus and other coronavirus-related aid. Originally House Democrats were pushing for a digital infrastructure-focused bill.

After House Democrats all signaled their support, Schumer and Pelosi released their statement early Wednesday morning. Democrats largely support it as a component of a broader new aid package. The aide added that community banks, microlenders and other sources should supplement the efforts of major banks. And at least one other House member, independent Justin Amash of MI, has been tweeting his dissatisfaction with the PPP program as now set up by Mnuchin.

Schumer and Senate Democrats introduced their own proposal Tuesday that would create a so-called "Heroes Fund", a two-pronged federal program that would give all essential, frontline workers a pay increase of $25,000 through the end of this year, and a $15,000 recruitment incentive specifically designed to attract and secure the medical workforce needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic. That is also likely to have a price tag in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

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