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story.lead_photo.caption House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks about the so-called Heroes Act, Tuesday, May 12, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pelosi unveiled a more than $3 trillion coronavirus aid package Tuesday, providing nearly $1 trillion for states and cities, “hazard pay” for essential workers and a new round of cash payments to individuals. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a more than $3 trillion coronavirus aid package Tuesday, a sweeping effort with $1 trillion for states and cities, "hazard pay" for essential workers and a new round of cash payments to individuals.

The House is expected to vote on the package as soon as Friday. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said there is no "urgency." The Senate will wait until after Memorial Day to consider options.

"We must think big, for the people, now," Pelosi said from the speaker's office at the Capitol.

"Not acting is the most expensive course," she said.

Lines drawn, the latest pandemic response from Congress will test the House and Senate — and President Donald Trump — as Washington navigates the extraordinary crisis with the nation's health and economic security at stake.

The Democrats' Heroes Act is built around nearly $1 trillion for states, cities and tribal governments to avert layoffs, focused chiefly on $375 billion for smaller suburban and rural municipalities largely left out of earlier bills.

The bill will offer a fresh round of $1,200 direct cash aid to individuals, increased to up to $6,000 per household, and launches a $175 billion housing assistance fund to help pay rents and mortgages. There is $75 billion more for virus testing.

It would continue, through January, the $600-per-week boost to unemployment benefits. It adds a 15 percent increase for food stamps, new subsidies for laid-off workers to pay health insurance premiums under a COBRA law and a special "Obamacare" sign-up period. For businesses, it provides an employee retention tax credit.

There's $200 billion in "hazard pay" for essential workers on the front lines of the crisis.

Pelosi drew on U.S. history — and poetry — to suggest "no man is an island" as she called on Americans to respond to the crisis with a strategy of science, virus testing and empathy.

"There are those who said, 'Let's just pause,'" she said. "Hunger doesn't take a pause. Rent doesn't take a pause. Bills don't take a pause."

However, the 1,800-page package is heading straight into a Senate roadblock.

Republicans are wary of another round of aid, and McConnell declared the Democratic proposal a grab bag of "pet priorities." He said Tuesday it is not something that "deals with reality."

House Republicans also took a pass.

"I can't believe that that would be real," said Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., leader of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, said in an interview.

This would be the fifth coronavirus package. It's a starkly partisan offering with no real input from Republicans, who prefer to assess the impact of earlier expenditures before approving more.

However, the political peril of doing nothing during an election year could prove challenging for Congress and the White House. As states experience flareups of virus outbreaks, and more than 30 million Americans remain unemployed in the shutdown, the near-term health and economic outlook remains daunting.

The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, of New York, warned Trump and Republicans risk the same path as Herbert Hoover, the former president roundly criticized for failing to act to stem the Great Depression.

"What is it going to take for Mitch McConnell to wake up and see the American people need help, and they need it now?" Schumer said.

The latest package extends some provisions from previous aid packages and adds new ones.

There is $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service. There is help for the 2020 Census, including the bureau's request to delay deadlines for turning over apportionment and redistricting data. For the November election, the bill provides $3.6 billion to help local officials prepare for the challenges of voting during the pandemic.

The popular Payroll Protection Program, which has been boosted in past bills, would see another $10 billion to ensure under-served businesses and nonprofit organizations have access to grants through a disaster loan program.

For hospitals and other health care providers, there's another $100 billion infusion to help cover costs and additional help for hospitals serving low-income communities.

There's another $600 million in funding to tackle the issue of rapid spread of the virus in state and federal prisons, along with $600 million in help to local police departments for salaries and equipment.

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