The House of Representatives approved a historic $ 2 trillion stimulus package for coronavirus on Friday, paving the way for President Trump’s signature.
The extensive legislation is considered the largest emergency relief package in the history of the United States. It brings a massive financial boom to a weak economy with regulations designed to help American workers, small businesses, and industries deal with the economic disruption.
“No bill is perfect, but we want to make sure it is at least partially sufficient,” said House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi on the house floor. She said she is already working on a fourth coronavirus response: “We know that this cannot be our final calculation.”
A bipartisan group of legislators passed the stimulus package by vote, a procedure that is typically used in the House of Representatives for undisputed measures after Republican Thomas Massie of Kentucky tried to force a full roll call vote – a scenario in which members tried to return to the Capitol from across the country on Friday.
Congressional leaders blocked Massie’s efforts and said an insufficient number of members supported his request. A quorum of the house – 216 members – was needed to block Massie’s attempt. Members who made it to the DC debate attempted to maintain social distance, with some remaining on the floor of the house while others sat in the gallery upstairs above the chamber where the public normally sits.
Essentially, hundreds of lawmakers traveled to the Capitol in the 24 hours before the vote, so as not to hold a full vote but to prevent a full vote from taking place. If a roll call had taken place, it would have been very slow: members would have voted in alphabetical groups to limit their social interactions.
Massie wrote before the showdown on Twitter that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and minority leader Kevin McCarthy had worked together “to block a recorded vote just to isolate Congress members from RESPONSIBILITY”.
“Biggest expense account in human history and no recorded vote? #SWAMP, ”he said.