House Passes $2.2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package

Andrew Cummings
March 28, 2020

Prior to signing the bill, Trump called the stimulus package "historic". A statement from Toledo Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur called the bill "the largest federal boost to our economy in modern history".

Trump on Thursday night told reporters that he was "profoundly grateful that both parties came together to provide relief for American workers and families in this hour of need", highlighting a number of aspects of the legislation.

Meanwhile, Dr Deborah Birx, the Trump White House coronavirus response coordinator, said on Thursday incoming data from South Korea and Italy suggests projections of fatalities in the USA may be less catastrophic than previously thought. It also provides $349 billion for small businesses, in the form of loans that can be forgiven if the companies retain their employees. The measure includes billions for states and cities as well as the healthcare system.

Lawmakers rushed back to Washington, D.C. on Thursday after Representative Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, indicated he may delay the bill by demanding a recorded vote requiring at least 216 members to appear on the floor.

The bill had already been passed by the Senate and President Trump says he will now sign it as soon as he gets it.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle supported the measure despite opposing some of its provisions.

Like Trump, Massie uses Twitter to prod his colleagues along, sometimes signing off his tweets #SassyMassie.

"I'm going to have to vote for something that has things in it that break my heart", said Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.).

"Next, we'll go from emergency mitigation, to recovery", Pelosi said. More than 1,200 people have died in the USA after being infected.

Dollars 100 billion will go to healthcare providers, including hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic; and USD 27 billion will go to bolstering life-saving capabilities, including developing vaccines and the development, purchase, and distribution of critical supplies.

The bill also provides $100 billion to hospitals, as well as aid to state and local governments. The Pentagon has been deploying resources to help states handle the surge of patients with COVID-19. Married taxpayers filing jointly and earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400, with qualifying children adding $500 each to the total. He pointed to $25 million for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington and grants for the National Endowment for the Humanities and Arts.

The package also allocates $11 billion for three global development groups: the African Development Fund, the African Development Bank, and the worldwide Development Association. The Internal Revenue Service will disperse the money in upcoming weeks.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a House Democrat from California, said about Rep. Massie: "It's not about him".

The bill passed by a voice vote after lawmakers defeated Massie's attempt to demand a recorded vote.

"We have a number of members who have the virus". For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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