BREAKING: CONGRESS PASSES $2 TRILLION STIMULUS IN COVID-19 RESPONSE — NOW GOING TO TRUMP’S DESK

Mar 27, 2020 by

3.27.20 – 12:30 P.M.

“Congress OKs $2T stimulus in historic coronavirus response, as rep’s objections sidelined”

By Marisa Schultz, Chad Pergram

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-massie-bill-coronavirus

Excerpts from this article:

The House of Representatives on Friday overwhelmingly approved a more than $2 trillion package to combat the coronavirus pandemic and send economic relief to workers and businesses squeezed by restrictions meant to stop the outbreak’s spread.

The legislation, approved by voice vote despite 11th-hour drama arising from a GOP lawmaker’s objections, amounts to the costliest stimulus plan in U.S. history. It includes checks for most Americans, boosted unemployment aid, help for small business as well as a massive loan fund for corporations – at a time when unemployment is surging at a record pace, a consequence of businesses closing in compliance with social distancing guidelines.

The bill, already approved by the Senate, now goes to President Trump’s desk.

“This bill is not only a rescue package, it is a commitment…that your government and the people whom you elected to serve will do everything we can to limit the harm and hardship you face, both now and in the foreseeable future,” House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said prior to the vote.  “To the American public: If you do your part, I promise we will do ours.”

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., had furiously objected to a simple voice vote that would have required only a minimal number of lawmakers to travel. Massie, as part of his push, wanted to ensure there is a quorum, which would require half of the members to show up on Capitol Hill.

So as President Trump and others accused him of grandstanding, hundreds of lawmakers were summoned to Washington D.C. Thursday night and Friday morning from coronavirus-ravaged communities in New York, California and elsewhere. This, despite strict guidelines from the Capitol physician advising lawmakers not to congregate at the Capitol and to stay in their offices until needed to avoid the spread of the virus that has already infected several lawmakers.

While Massie was able to ensure many lawmakers showed up for the vote, he was not, in the end, able to force a roll-call.

The House, after several hours of debate, ultimately passed the measure by voice vote, and it was allowed to stand.

There were loud cries for ‘ayes’ and few rumblings of ‘nos’ on the House floor.

“The ayes have it,” declared the presiding officer, Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md.

…Emotions ran hot on the House floor all morning Friday before the vote on the $2 trillion stimulus bill.

The legislation would provide one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.

Unemployment insurance would be made far more generous, with $600 per week tacked onto regular state jobless payments through the end of July. States and local governments would receive $150 billion in supplemental funding to help them provide basic and emergency services during the crisis.

The legislation also establishes a $454 billion program for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries in hopes of leveraging up to $4.5 trillion in lending to distressed businesses, states, and municipalities. All would be up to the Treasury Department’s discretion, though businesses controlled by Trump or immediate family members and by members of Congress would be ineligible.

There was also $150 billion devoted to the health care system, including $100 billion for grants to hospitals and other health care providers buckling under the strain of COVID-19 caseloads…

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