House passes coronavirus relief package

Two days after the Senate, the House of Representatives also passes historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

US Capitol
US Capitol

The US House of Representatives on Friday passed a historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, The Hill reports.

The enormous package, approved by the Senate by a majority of 96-0 late Wednesday night, provides hundreds of billions of dollars for the industries, small businesses, unemployed workers and health care providers hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated economies around the world.

The legislation now moves to President Donald Trump's desk. Trump has said he'll sign the bill immediately.

House Democratic leaders were able to move the package by voice vote, a rarely used procedure allowing a few members to air their objections without forcing the entire chamber to reconvene.

To pass the bill, leaders in both parties had to unite to foil an attempted blockade by Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican who had driven to Washington for the vote and requested a recorded tally, which requires the participation of at least half of all sitting House members.

Lawmakers in both parties thwarted Massie's effort with a procedural gambit of their own: An insufficient number rose in support of his roll-call request, allowing the speedier voice vote to stand.

GOP leaders declined to allow Massie to speak on the floor prior to the vote, prompting him to accuse his own party brass of being "afraid of the truth."

"The fix is in," he tweeted from the floor. "If this bill is so great for America, why not allow a vote on it?"

The approval of the package comes a day after the Labor Department reported that jobless claims hit almost 3.3 million last week alone — a massive spike above the roughly 200,000 applications filed just a few weeks ago.

Commenting on the report later on Thursday, President Donald Trump said the sharp rise in unemployment claims was “fully expected” and predicted the economy would quickly rebound once the United States overcomes the coronavirus outbreak.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)