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Congressman Neal firing back about second round of stimulus money

May 13, 2020
In The News

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- One day after House Democrats unveiled the HEROES Ac, the bill calling for more stimulus money in the pockets of Americans, Congressman Richard Neal, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was in Springfield with a strong message.

He's firing back after Senate Republicans spoke out Tuesday.

Some Senate Republicans are warning that the bill will not pass the Senate, but Neal said he understands it’s a document of negotiation.

“It should not be a partisan issue,” Neal said.

Senate Republicans are warning House Democrats after they unveiled a new relief package at a price of more than $3 trillion-- largest relief package in history.

“It’s got so much on related to coronavirus is dead on arrival here,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).

The proposed legislation called the HEROES Act would provide financial aid to states and local governments, including $22.5 billion to Massachusetts, for more stimulus money to qualifying Americans and some to people who did not qualify in the last round of payments, hazard pay for essential workers, and an extension of unemployment benefits.

These were all outlined in an 1,800-page document.

“Governors across the country including Gov.Charlie Baker have indicated that they are supportive of what we’re attempting to do,” Neal said.

Senate Republicans are speaking out warning House Democrats on their proposal.

“What Nancy Pelosi is proposing will never pass the Senate,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming).

Congressman Richard Neal at a press conference in Springfield Wednesday said he knows the proposed legislation is a document of negotiation, but time is of the essence.

“We are better off investing now trying to stem the tide of the disease rather than waiting too long and the problem becomes far worse,” Neal said.

Western Mass News is digging deeper into the criticisms from Senate Republicans and what that means for the future of the proposal.

“They said that on the last three occasions. I can’t believe there’s a Republican in the United States Senate who is not going to vote to give his or her governor some assistance,” Neal said.

Neal stressed that Republicans made similar comments about earlier bailout bills which all eventually passed, but he said talk has not stopped with Republicans.

“I don’t know that negotiations are ever really broken up,” he said. “I can tell you that conversations are ongoing.”

The House is expected to vote on the bill on Friday.