House passes $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. Future unlikely
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Thursday but the bill’s future is unlikely. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously stated that he would not support any legislation that spent more than $2 trillion.
The bill passed almost entirely along party lines with 18 Democrats voting against it.
The White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been working to come to an agreement on another round of coronavirus relief but remain strongly divided on the issue.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that Pelosi has not been serious during negotiations. She said it was unfortunate that Democrats were unwilling to work with the White House on a $1.6 trillion bill.
“Nancy Pelosi is not being serious. If she becomes serious, then we can have a discussion here,” McEnany said. “The $1.6 trillion offer is a good proposal, but she is not interested in it.”
Pelosi says that Democrats and the Trump administration have “a stark difference not just of dollars but also of values.”
“Hopefully, we can find our common ground on this and do so soon,” said Pelosi. “People say, ‘Isn’t something better than nothing?’ No, there can be an opportunity cost.”
The House bill is a slimmed-down version of the $3.4 trillion relief bill the House passed in May. It would deliver another round of direct stimulus payments to Americans, which is something many Senate Republicans oppose.
Pelosi faced pushback on Thursday from the more moderate members of her caucus who wanted an alternative bill voted on, preferably one that the Senate would consider voting on.
“Over the past 2 months, I repeatedly urged leadership to bring up a revised #COVID19 bill. In doing so, we are now closer to a deal than we’ve been in months. But the only thing that can help #IA03 is a bill that can become law,” tweeted Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a moderate Democrat facing a tough reelection back home.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also said that Democrats weren’t being serious with the new bill and instead were again being reckless with taxpayer dollars.
“Pay attention to who votes for this bill tonight—It would hand out taxpayer-funded checks to illegal immigrants while removing $600 million in funding for law enforcement. Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats aren’t serious about helping Americans,” McCarthy said.
McConnell says that the bill is likely dead on arrival again as the thought that Senate Republicans would go up to $2.2 trillion is “outlandish.”
PHOTO: Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images
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