After efforts of Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky, to delay the passage of the much awaited Coronavirus Stimulus Package, the House has finally passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Friday. The bill is unprecedented spending legislation amid the growing threats of the coronavirus on the economy and public health.
A voice vote, which simply measures if more lawmakers shout for “aye” or “nay” on whether to support it, was used to pass the bill, which is the largest spending package in U.S. history, amid Massie’s attempts to force a full yes or no vote amongst his colleagues, which would delay the passage of the bill by hours.
A concerted move from lawmakers who rushed to Washington in cars and near-empty planes has headed off Massie’s efforts. Irritated by the action of the Republican lawmaker, some eviscerated him for risking their safety.
The bill, which includes provisions on one-time payments to individuals, strengthened unemployment insurance, additional health-care funding and loans, and grants to businesses to deter layoffs, has been passed by the Senate on a unanimous vote on Wednesday night. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has described the bill “as mitigation” of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which would eventually encourage the legislature to draft more laws to aid in the “recovery” of the nation once the pandemic is resolved.
President Donald Trump earlier said that once the legislative has come up with a stimulus bill, he would sign it “immediately.” The law is expected to green-light the distribution of at least $1,200 direct payments to some individuals who are affected by the virus. It is still unsure how quickly the government will dole out some of the money, such as increased unemployment benefits and small business loans, but the White House assured that some would receive the aid in the next three weeks.
As of writing, the number of COVID-19 infections climbed to reach 566,373, with more than 25,427 fatalities around the world. In this tally, the United States has the most reported confirmed cases reaching up to 93,151 and 1,382 deaths.