House approves coronavirus relief bill
The House today approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The bill, which was approved by the Senate by a 96-0 vote on Wednesday, now goes to President Donald Trump, who has promised to sign it.
The measure passed by a voice vote, with only a few voices in opposition.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., asked for a recorded vote but he did get support. Massie said he thought there was not a quorum, but the chair ruled that the majority of the 218 members were present.
The vote took place after four and a half hours of debate.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., managed the debate for the Democrats, and House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, managed it for the Republicans.
Almost all speakers spoke in favor of the bill.
Democrats praised Senate Democrats and their own leaders for making changes to the bill, while Brady said, “Senate Democrats, aided by Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] recklessly delayed this bill for days and used this crisis to advance a frivolous political agenda. It failed, and the Senate found unanimous, if not perfect, common ground.”
Several speakers, including Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., said the bill was particularly important to rural hospitals that need to buy supplies and build infrastructure in order to provide medical information and advice online.
Near the end of the speeches, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., gave an impassioned plea for members to vote for it.
Brady in a final speech for the Republicans urged members to vote for the bill, noting that Trump supports it.
Pelosi called for a large vote so that the American people would realize the government is there for them.
Hoyer said that members would vote not as Democrats or Republicans, but for the common good.
After the House adjourned, Pelosi and McCarthy appeared together to enroll the bill. Pelosi said the enrolled bill goes back to the Senate, which will send it to the White House.
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