WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — A $2 trillion aid package meant to rescue the economy and struggling families from the impact of the coronavirus finally passed both chambers of Congress.
But it didn’t come easy.
On Friday, the House advanced the largest economic recovery package in US history.
It provides immediate financial relief to businesses, hospitals and struggling families.
“In this bill we give them the tools to do the job, and we give families the financial support they need to get by,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said.
“This is much like a 9-11 moment,” Rep. Doug Lamalfa (R-Calif.) said.
The package had overwhelming bipartisan support even among those who considered it flawed.
“COVID-19 didn’t kill our economy. Government policies, however well intentioned, did that,” said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.).
California Congressman Tom McClintock called the aid package inefficient and wasteful.
But like many other lawmakers who took issue with parts of the bill, McClintock agreed not passing it would do even more harm to the economy and public health.
“Despite all its flaws, passage of this bill is therefore imperative,” McClintock said.
There was drama before the vote.
Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) attempted to delay action by requiring an in-person vote.
Which would have forced lawmakers with health issues, like Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) to take a flight to Washington, potentially exposing herself to the virus.
“Congressman Massie will have to answer to my family if something happens to me. I am terrified to get on a plane, and if I get coronavirus, it’s not going to go well for me,” Torres said.
Ultimately the House found there were enough members present for a simple voice vote and lawmakers moved the historic aid package on to the president.