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May 18, 2020

House Passes Third Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

Credit: WFMD, Kevin McManus

It now heads to the US Senate where its fate is uncertain.

Washington DC (KM) The US House of Representatives Friday night  passed at $3-trillion coronavirus stimulus relief bill.

This is the third stimulus bill to help jump start the economy which has been devastated by  the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixth District Congressman David Trone (D) says it’s necessary. “This problem we have with COVID, as we all know, is just absolutely unprecedented, health damage, lives destroyed,” he says. “But also the business infrastructure just destroyed. We’re on our way right now to 20% unemployment.”

One key focus of this bill is setting aside $500-billion to assist state and local governments. “Larry Hogan and his team have come up what’s needed for the states across country:  $500-billion. It’s their number. We put forth exactly what Governor Hogan is suggested and requested for the country. In addition, $375-billion for local governments,” Trone says.

Governor Hogan is the Chairman of the National Governor’s Association.

Trone says this bill will ensure that the states don’t go bankrupt fighting the coronavirus. “It’s not acceptable to have our local folks go bankrupt,” he says.

If this legislation passes, Trone says Frederick County could get $97-million.

The bill also contains funding for COVID-19 testing, extending unemployment benefits, medical research, , mental health and addiction,  and hazard pay for front line health care workers. But Trone says there’s also money to keep hospitals in operation. “We’ve got rural hospitals all over America that will be laying people off in the midst of the biggest health crisis ever in the country,” he says. “So we’ve got to support our hospitals. And, of course, testing,  tracing and isolation,” he says.

The measure has drawn criticism from Republicans, but Trone says it’s needs bipartisan support. “This bill is requested by Republican and Democrat Governors alike,” he says. “This should not be partisan.”

The bill, called he Heroes Act, now heads to the US Senate, where it’s fate is uncertain. The President has said he will veto the legislation if it comes to his desk.