In this file photo the US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC. AFP
House Democrats on Friday narrowly pushed through the largest-ever US economic rescue package, but the coronavirus measure faces headwinds in the White House and Senate where Republicans bemoan its $3 trillion price tag.
The Heroes Act, which passed largely along party lines, provides some $1 trillion for state and local governments, another round of cash disbursements to millions of hard-hit American families, funds for hospitals, hazard pay for health workers, and relief for devastated small businesses.
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In an attempt to counter the pandemic's devastating economic fallout, the 1,815-page measure also would extend food and unemployment aid; provide rent and mortgage support for struggling households, and pump billions of dollars into virus testing, tracing operations and treatment.
"We think this is a major investment in the lives of the American people and in the budgets of our states and localities," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
More than 36 million Americans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus catastrophe and related business lockdown.
A woman arrives by ambulance to Wyckoff Hospital in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn in New York. AFP
"They're suffering so much, in so many ways," Pelosi said. "We want to lessen the pain for them."
In a sign that the pandemic has jumbled Capitol Hill's routines, the House also passed a rules change that would allow remote voting by proxy for the first time in the chamber's 231-year history.
Doomed in Senate
The legislation, which cleared the House on a vote of 208 to 199, with 14 Democrats and all but one Republican opposed, appears doomed in the Senate.
Many Republicans branded it an exorbitant liberal wish list packed with Democratic priorities like funding for vote-by-mail programs or marijuana studies and emergency checks for undocumented immigrants.
"It's not a stretch to say that this bill is nothing more than a Democratic policy agenda masquerading as a response to the coronavirus crisis," House Republican Tom Cole told colleagues.
"The Pelosi package will never see the light of day in the Senate," Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator, added on Twitter after the House vote.
In the Republican-controlled chamber, "we will work with the Trump Administration to jump start the economy and fund efforts to defeat COVID19."
Senate leaders have expressed opposition to moving swiftly with a new tranche of relief, saying they prefer more time to study how the previous aid measures have helped American communities.
President Donald Trump has already signed four pandemic relief measures into law.
They include a $2.2 trillion package in March and a $483 billion measure to pump additional funds into a loan program for hard-hit small businesses.
Pelosi has said the latest bill is effectively an opening offer, and she expects Republicans to join Democrats in negotiating a compromise.
The White House on Friday threw cold water on the Democratic gambit, signaling the administration would not support such a pricey rescue deal.
"Another $3 trillion package seems off target to me," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters.
"I don't believe we can spend our way into prosperity."
More than 87,000 people have died from coronavirus in the United States, which has reported 1.44 million confirmed infections.
The crisis has led to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and Trump has been keen to re-open shuttered state economies in a bid to jumpstart business activity that has been frozen during pandemic-related lockdowns.
The mixed messaging was the latest from a president whose remarks from the White House podium have frequently raised eyebrows, including most recently a suggestion that disinfectant could be injected to treat patients with COVID-19.
The dire forecast from the United States came as much of the Western world emerged from weeks of lockdown, with hopes that the disease may have peaked in Europe, where deaths in the worst affected countries have dropped after nearly two months of confinement.
The approval is the latest step in a global push to find viable treatments and a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has left half of humanity under some form of lockdown, hammered the world economy, and infected more than 3.3 million people.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. The United States is the worst hit with 88,719 deaths and 1.49 million cases as of 15.17GMT (UAE time 19.17) on Monday.
The stolen items valued at Dhs21,000, according to the beauty centre manager. The convict intended to use these items for herself and her family’s members, the Court heard.
"The major cause of deaths could be drowning because the well was 60 feet deep and there was much water in it," Ilayaraja T, a top local government official, told Reuters.
“I have had more problems with the impact of the nerve damage than the bullet wounds,” Khan says. “I still can't walk properly, I still don’t have proper sensation in my right foot. That’s a lasting effect, which the doctor says eventually with time will heal, will go away.”
The possible spectacle of Trump's appearance in Manhattan before a judge as the first sitting or former President to face criminal charges, with international media camped outside, could further divide the world's most powerful country.