It’s time for talking, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, now that the Senate voted 96-0 to fast-track a coronavirus relief bill.
As the number of coronavirus cases rises daily and Americans wait for leadership and action from Congress, the California Democrat on Wednesday dashed any hopes for action on Thursday.
“What I would like to see, because this is a $2 trillion bill, I’d like to see a good debate on the floor. People will say yes or no on either side, and then we’ll take a voice vote,” Pelosi told reporters, according to Politico.
The Senate action came despite reservations about several items in the package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said passage was necessary.
“This is not even a stimulus package. It is emergency relief. Emergency relief. That’s what this is,” the Kentucky Republican said Wednesday.
After the vote, McConnell said the unanimous vote was an important sign of unity.
“This is a proud moment for the United States Senate and for the country, and we’re going to win this battle in the very near future,” he said.
The bill would give every individual adult making under $75,000 per year a one-time payment of $1,200. For married couples making less than $150,000, the payment would be $2,400 plus $500 per child.
The Senate bill bases income on either 2018 or 2019 tax returns, with those who did not file taxes able to use either Form SSA-1099, the Social Security Benefit Statement or Form RRB-1099, the Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement.
Although the bill carries a $2 billion price tag, the Senate lopped off several initial House demands, including Democratic proposals to alter the operations of elections, require federal agencies to review how they use “minority banks” and curb airlines’ carbon emissions, Fox News reported.
Those provisions had stirred the wrath of many Americans in need of financial relief.
“Pelosi should be a national pariah for the stunt she pulled in our darkest hour,” Miranda Devine wrote in an Op-Ed for the New York Post.
“She exploited the opportunity of a deadly pandemic to inject the virus of identity politics into corporate America when it was on its knees,” she wrote, citing a passage that was too much for the Senate to swallow in which the House bill said that, “Any corporation that receives federal aid related to COVID–19 must maintain officials and budget dedicated to diversity and inclusion initiatives for no less than five years after disbursement of funds.”
“Of course, after five years the company would be wholly woke,” Devine wrote. “How much of our society’s energies have been squandered on such woke triviality in recent decades, and how effete has it rendered us in the face of adversity? When this is all over, we need to count the opportunity cost.”
Pelosi said that House Democrats must have their time.
“House Democrats will now review the final provisions and legislative text of the agreement to determine a course of action,” she said, adding that she rejected any form of unanimous consent that would have put the bill through the House on Thursday.
“What is important is for us to recognize the good that is in the bill — appreciate for what it does, don’t judge it for what it doesn’t because we have more bills to come,” Pelosi said.
But one voice was already complaining the $2 trillion relief package fell short of what is needed.
The Democrat said that “$3.8 billion sounds like a lot of money, but we’re looking at a shortfall, revenue shortfall, of 9, 10, 15 billion dollars.”
“We are frugal and we are efficient. I am telling you, these numbers don’t work,” Cuomo said.
Prior to dealing with the coronavirus, New York state was facing a budget deficit estimated at $6 billion, according to WKBW-TV.
“That is a drop in the bucket as to need. I spoke to our House delegation this morning … I said to them, this doesn’t do it,” the governor said.
Pelosi later said more bills will be coming to bail out states.