The House on Friday passed the $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it quickly. The legislation, which was passed unanimously by the Senate on Wednesday, provides relief for workers and businesses that have been devastated by the outbreak.
“No bill is perfect, but we want to make sure that it at least comes part of the way to being sufficient,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said ahead of the vote. “I do think that when we’re considering a bill, appreciate [it] for what is in the bill rather than judge it for what is not in the bill. But we do know that we must do more.”
Trump has applauded the final product — the largest economic relief package in modern U.S. history — and said this week that he would sign the legislation, which the Senate passed 96-0 late Wednesday.
White House officials were monitoring the vote closely and were hoping to get the legislation to the White House quickly so that the president could hold a signing ceremony Friday afternoon, two people familiar with the matter said.
The House vote Friday came after Democratic and Republican leaders late Thursday summoned House members to Washington because they feared the package wouldn’t be able to pass by voice vote, causing lawmakers to scramble back to the capital from their districts.
House leaders wanted to avoid bringing members back to Washington because of the coronavirus outbreak, so they had planned to hold a voice vote that could be done without lawmakers returning. There was speculation, however, that Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., might demand a roll-call vote.
Those suspicions proved right: Shortly before the vote, Massie said in a series of tweets that he would try to force a roll-call vote on the legislation, arguing that House members should have to go on the record.
“Is it too much to ask that the House do its job, just like the Senate did?” he tweeted. Ultimately, House leaders were able to thwart the request for a recorded vote from Massie, who lacked support for the move from other members, and passed the bill in a voice vote.
Source: NBC News
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