COVID19us: House Passed $484 Billion Relief Package

The US House of  Reps on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to pass legislation providing roughly $484 billion in coronavirus relief for small businesses, hospitals and expanded medical testing, capping weeks of contentious negotiations that had stalled Washington’s latest round of emergency aid.

The vote was 388-5-1, with four conservative Republicans breaking with GOP leaders to oppose the measure, citing its effect on federal deficit. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also voted against the measure, while Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) voted president.

The four Republicans who voted "no" were House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.), Jody Hice (Ga.) and Thomas Massie (Ky.).

The legislation, which the Senate passed unanimously on Tuesday, now goes to the desk of President Trump, who has promised to sign it quickly into law.

The massive package is the fourth coronavirus bill to move through Congress over the last seven weeks, and brings the federal response to the global pandemic up to a whopping $2.8 trillion — by far the largest emergency relief effort in modern U.S. history.

It came after two weeks of tense talks between the White House, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and the top Democrats in both chambers, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), over the scope and direction of the latest infusion of emergency funds.

Passage was never in doubt: The measure was endorsed by leaders in both parties and chambers, as well as Trump from the White House.

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