5.15.2020

Democrats push new $3T coronavirus relief bill through House



Democrats push new $3T coronavirus relief bill through House



Unlike the first four coronavirus bills that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, this 1,815-page package was drafted by Democrats alone and earned a veto threat from the White House and condemnation from the GOP as a "liberal wish list" that's dead on arrival in the Senate.

But tucked into the legislation are provisions that rankled the Republicans including expanding $1,200 checks to certain undocumented immigrants, restoring the full State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) that helps individuals in high-taxed blue states, a $25 billion rescue for the U.S. Postal Service, allowing legal marijuana businesses to access banking services and early voting and vote-by-mail provisions.

"So much of what's in this bill simply has nothing at all to do with the current crisis," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. "It's more like a liberal Christmas ... wish list. It would make more sense ... to just send it straight to Santa Claus than to send it to the United States Senate. It would have a better chance of becoming law that way."


“This bill is nothing more than the Democratic policy agenda masquerading as a response to the coronavirus crisis,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. He said the bill is “going nowhere, and is going nowhere fast.”

Pelosi overcame party divisions of her own. Some moderate Democrats opposed the package for its price tag and politically fraught provisions like assisting marijuana businesses. A few progressive Democrats were upset because it did not do more, such as guaranteeing workers’ salaries and bolstering their health insurance coverage.

Those for whom the vote was most politically risky were the 30, mostly freshmen, from House districts that backed Trump in 2016. One, Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, labeled the measure “bloated” and said she’d vote no.

Liberal Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., told reporters that she’d also oppose the bill. She said if constituents ask her if the bill would put money in their pockets or preserve their health care, “I can’t tell them yes.”