The House overwhelmingly passed a multi-billion dollar bill to fight the coronavirus pandemic early Saturday after agreeing to its details with the Trump administration. "This bill will increase testing capabilities across the country", said Congressman Brett Guthrie, Ky District 2.
The White House and congressional Republicans, who insisted on the exemptions as the price of bipartisan support for the legislation, bear the primary responsibility for the indefensible decision to prioritize corporate profits in the midst of a public health emergency.
Even President Donald Trump has been vocal on Twitter, endorsing H.R. 6201 earlier on Friday ahead of the vote. The House's only independent lawmaker, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, voted "present" on the bill. "It is during time likes these we have and will band together knowing we will get through this united, as Texans and Americans". These funds are now at work assisting those on the front lines fighting the pandemic.
Trump said his administration would free up to 50 billion USA dollars, which he described as "a large amount of money for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease" in a Rose Garden press conference. It does not include direct cash assistance to families - or Trump's desired payroll tax suspension through the end of the year, which could cost more than $800 billion and which would not give any help to workers who lose their jobs and stop drawing salaries in the outbreak.
He called on states to partner with the private sector to further improve diagnoses and set up drive-through testing sites at hospitals. One claim is that that Pelosi attempted to insert pro-abortion language into the bill or, possibly, omit the inclusion of Hyde Amendment statements. "I think there were some things in there that sounded good but we have to be very careful about unintended consequences here". Today, we are passing a bill that does just that. It was not possible to review the repercussions of this legislation especially as it relates to small businesses. Another 12 million work for companies with fewer than 50 employees with no paid sick days. I fear that rather than offering a workable solution, the House bill will exacerbate the problem by forcing small businesses to pay wages they can not afford and "helping" them go further into debt.
"Wish our government didn't work this way but here we are!"
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell canceled the upper chamber's planned recess Thursday so senators could vote on the legislation once it made its way out of the House. "The president and states already have adequate authority and funding to address the current situation".
Moony criticized the drafting process, saying Pelosi crafted the bill "behind closed doors".
"If we reach agreement, we'll vote on it", he told colleagues in a letter.
The bill aims to limit the economic fallout from a pandemic that has infected 138,000 people worldwide, killed more than 5,000 and shuttered schools, sports arenas, theaters and offices. "There will be many more cases, but we'll take care of that".
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