October 2, 2020
House approves updated HEROES Act as bipartisan talks continue
The House October 1 approved by a largely party-line 214-207 vote an updated version of the HEROES Act coronavirus relief bill, trimmed to a net cost of $2.2 trillion, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) continued to negotiate with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a bipartisan agreement. The Speaker told reporters she is reviewing materials from the White House.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said if a bipartisan agreement had been reached, "we wouldn't have this bill on the floor, because we know we want a bill signed. But we also know we want to let the American people [know] where we stand." Leaders have been pressured by some members to put a bill on the floor before the election. Other Democrats weren't happy that the vote was being held instead of focusing on a deal.
Speaker Pelosi said earlier October 1 on Bloomberg TV that "I'm hopeful, actually. Doesn't mean I'm positive but I am hopeful. We do have some areas of disagreement that are broad." Tax provisions have emerged as a sticking point in recent days. Speaker Pelosi criticized the unwillingness of the Administration to agree to expansions of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), especially given the significant net operating loss (NOL) and excess business loss provisions in the CARES Act, which Democrats propose to roll back. "In the CARES Act, the Republicans — stealthily, I might add — put in $150 billion to the net operating loss benefit, benefiting a small percentage of the American people, the wealthiest in our country."
The Speaker said she hopes the Administration will come around on CTC and EITC improvements, and, on the NOL and excess business loss piece, "we have great opposition in our caucus to that tax cut that is retroactive having nothing to do with the coronavirus." She said, "I would hope that they would … definitely come back with a proposal for the tax cuts, the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit refundability. I would hope that they would come back with that. The debate on the other tax is our leverage."
There are also said to be remaining differences between the Administration and House Democratic leaders on state and local government funding and liability protections. Roll Call reported today, "The overall funding levels for health care are in good shape but there's still significant divisions on policy prescriptions that go with the funding."
Tax provisions in the updated HEROES Act include:
Health provisions in the updated version of the bill include:
A summary of the bill is attached.
Updated Heroes Act Summary