House Passes Rescue Bill, Overcoming Threat of Delay

Relief money to Americans should be coming soon
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 27, 2020 12:40 PM CDT
Updated Mar 27, 2020 1:31 PM CDT
House Passes Rescue Bill, Overcoming Threat of Delay
In this image from video, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, March 27, 2020.   (House Television via AP)

No delay after all. The House Friday approved a $2.2 trillion rescue package Friday, seen as a life preserver to a US economy and health care system left flailing by the coronavirus pandemic, per the AP. The House approved the sweeping measure by a voice vote, as strong majorities of both parties lined up behind the most colossal economic relief bill in the nation's history. It will ship payments of up to $1,200 to millions of Americans, bolster unemployment benefits, offer loans, grants and tax breaks to businesses large and small, and flush billions more to states, local governments, and the nation's all but overwhelmed health care system. Trump said he would sign the measure immediately. Passage came after Democratic and Republican leaders banded together and outmaneuvered a maverick GOP lawmaker who tried forcing a roll call vote.

With many lawmakers scattered around the country and reluctant to risk flying back to the Capitol, that could have delayed approval. But after Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., a libertarian who often bucks the GOP leadership, tried insisting on a roll call vote, the presiding officer—Rep. Anthony Brown—ruled that there was no need for one and the bill passed. "Are they afraid of the truth?" he tweeted. "The fix is in. If this bill is so great for America, why not allow a vote on it?" Pelosi, for her part, said “the American people deserve a government wide, visionary, evidence-based response to address these threats to their lives and their livelihood. And they need it now." (Massie took much criticism all morning.)

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