House Democrats have rejected an amendment that a Republican congressman proposed to their $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill, dubbed the HEROES Act, that would have prohibited economic stimulus payments from going to illegal immigrants.
“After the $2.2 trillion CARES Act became law, I have been clear in my belief that we should study its strengths and weaknesses before passing another version of its magnitude,” Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., said in a statement, adding:
The Democrats’ desire to allow illegal immigrants to receive [economic impact payments] is a step backward, rather than an improvement.
If the federal government is going to send another round of EIPs, then it’s simply common sense that hard-earned taxpayer dollars should only be distributed to Americans.
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The HEROES Act, which stands for ‘‘Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act,” would be the fourth major congressional spending proposal aimed at addressing the coronavirus pandemic. A vote is expected on the bill Friday. Even if it passes the Democrat-run House, it’s unlikely to get a hearing or a vote in the Republican-led Senate.
The bill doesn’t require Social Security number verification, making it possible for illegal immigrants to receive coronavirus-relief stimulus payments.
Murphy’s amendment, filed Wednesday, would allow for checks to be sent only to people with Social Security numbers, not Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, with exceptions for military service members and adopted children.
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a tax-processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a Social Security number.
The Murphy amendment would bar illegal immigrants from receiving the $1,200 individual payments by requiring recipients to have a Social Security number, rather than just the taxpayer ID number.
“I believe every member of the House of Representatives should be on the record about whether or not they believe illegal immigrants should receive direct payments in federal money,” Murphy said, adding:
It’s a shame Democrats would not allow such a vote to take place and just goes to show that their open-borders policies have no bounds.
Thankfully, this piece of legislation in its current form would not pass the Senate, and I look forward to voting against it should it come to the House floor [Friday].
A group of Heritage Foundation researchers wrote in The Daily Signal that the Democrats’ HEROES Act legislation “includes over $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments with the vast majority being unrestricted aid that does not directly respond to costs incurred in the fight against COVID-19.”
It would also lead to a long-term increase in the federal unemployment compensation bonus.
“The bill would extend the misguided and harmful $600 unemployment bonus through January 2021, with an additional extension possible through March of next year,” the Heritage researchers wrote, adding:
It is one thing to provide short-term and targeted unemployment benefits during forced shutdowns, but providing a year’s worth of unprecedented additional unemployment benefits—up to an extra $30,000 or more per worker—would be devastating to our economy, potentially even threatening our ability to combat COVID-19 and Americans’ supply of essential goods and services.
Opponents of the provision further contend that it would discourage employment by paying many people more to remain idle than they would earn if they were working.
The Democrats’ HEROES Act also includes a provision to allow members of Congress to vote by proxy, according to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
“Unbelievable,” McCarthy tweeted Thursday. “At a time when millions of Americans are desperate to get back to work, Democrats are about to give themselves a free pass to skip work altogether. ‘Voting by proxy’ would let members of Congress stay home while they continue to collect a paycheck.”