House Democrats on Thursday approved a massive, $2.2 trillion package of coronavirus relief, lending political cover to party centrists in tough races while putting fresh pressure on Senate Republicans to move another round of emergency aid before the coming elections.
The vote arrived only after last-ditch negotiations between Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse On The Money: ‘One more serious try’ on COVID relief yields progress but no deal | Trump tax bombshell shines light on IRS enforcement | Senate passes bill to avert shutdown hours before deadline ‘One more serious try’ on COVID-19 relief yields progress but no deal MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinAmerican Airlines to furlough 19,000 workers On The Money: ‘One more serious try’ on COVID relief yields progress but no deal | Trump tax bombshell shines light on IRS enforcement | Senate passes bill to avert shutdown hours before deadline ‘One more serious try’ on COVID-19 relief yields progress but no deal MORE on Thursday failed to yield a bipartisan agreement — and it sent a signal that the prospects for such a deal before Nov. 3 have dimmed considerably.
The tally was 214 to 207, with at least 17 Democrats opposing the measure, including a surprisingly large number of centrists who were furious that Pelosi had staged a vote on a bill with no chance of becoming law.
Every Republican voted no, saying the spending levels were too high and the funding targeted certain programs unrelated to the coronavirus crisis.
The legislation has no chance of becoming law for the time being.
Republicans in the Senate and White House both oppose the measure and are backing a proposal that is $600 billion less than the Democratic legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senators pan debate: ‘S—show,’ ‘awful,’ ’embarrassment’ ‘One more serious try’ on COVID-19 relief yields progress but no deal The Hill’s Campaign Report: Debate fallout l Trump clarifies remarks on Proud Boys l Down to the wire in South Carolina MORE (R-Ky.) is dedicating the entirety of next week — the Senate’s last in Washington before the elections — to seating federal judges as the upper chamber gears up for a battle over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus MORE‘s Supreme Court nominee.
“I’d like to see another rescue package. We’ve been trying for months to get there. I wish them well,” McConnell said of the Pelosi-Mnuchin talks.
Yet Democratic supporters cheered the bill’s passage, using it to argue that Democrats are focused on getting relief to people.
“My constituents and small business owners will be so relieved to know that help that they need is one step closer to being here,” freshman Rep. Kim SchrierKimberly (Kim) Merle SchrierPelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is