With no sense that economic troubles linked to the Coronavirus outbreak are going to vanish anytime soon, Democrats in the House rolled out a sweeping $3 trillion aid package Tuesday, combining more direct payments to Americans with emergency aid for state and local governments, and another $75 billion for virus testing and tracing efforts.
"Not acting is the most expensive course," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said outside of her office in the Capitol.
"We must think big for the people, now," Pelosi added.
"The number of 33 million Americans who have filed for Unemployment Insurance is almost unimaginable," Pelosi added. "This is a moment when many millions of our fellow Americans are in deep suffering."
The plan - over 1,800 pages in all - was negotiated only among Democrats, and seemed unlikely to gain GOP support, as Republicans swiftly mocked the size, the cost, and the scope of the measure, declaring it dead on arrival.
"What a joke," said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).
"This multi-trillion dollar monstrosity was dreamed up behind closed doors with zero bipartisan input," said Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL). "Taxpayers deserve better."
"The House Democrat proposal is not a serious attempt to legislate," said Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC).
The plan from Democrats includes extra unemployment benefits, more money for food assistance, housing aid, and much more.
The fine print has $3.6 billion to help states better plan and prepare for the November elections - which could feature a big increase in the number of absentee and mail-in ballots.
There was also $25 billion in emergency aid for the Postal Service to help buy personal protective equipment for workers, to safeguard them on the job.
Democrats were told to expect a vote as soon as Friday in the House. It is unclear what the Senate will do with the measure.
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