THE NEUTRAL ZONE
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $484B relief package Thursday afternoon aimed at recharging the small business Paycheck Protection Program and emergency relief efforts for hospitals and coronavirus testing.
Now the fourth package among federal coronavirus relief bills, the newest package was passed with overwhelming support with final votes closing at 388-5. The package was finalized after tense negotiation between House Speaker Pelosi, House Republicans and Democrats, and the White House. The House also passed legislation to create a coronavirus oversight committee. Of the $484B, $321B will immediately be injected into the Small Business relief fund, who ran out of money within the last week. Following Democratic advocacy, the package also includes $75B in emergency relief funds for hospitals and $25B to go toward coronavirus testing.
House Passes $484 Billion Aid Package – The New York Times – April 23, 2020
“President Trump was expected to quickly sign the measure, the latest installment in a government aid program that is approaching $3 trillion, which passed with broad bipartisan support even as some Democrats condemned it for being too stingy. But the fight over what should be included foreshadowed a pitched partisan battle to come over the next round of federal relief, which is likely to center on aid to states and cities facing dire financial straits.”
AOC Only Democrat to Vote Against $484 Billion Coronavirus Relief Package – The National Review – April 23, 2020
“‘Democrats should never have made the Paycheck Protection Program lapse. The House must follow the Senate’s lead and vote today to re-open it,’ McConnell tweeted ahead of the House vote Thursday. Ocasio-Cortez drew criticism earlier this week for tweeting, and then deleting, praise over the U.S. oil market reaching negative territory for the first time ever. Over four million Americans applied for unemployment last week, according to data released Thursday, bringing the number of coronavirus jobless claims to over 26 million since last month.”
The five lawmakers who voted against $484B in coronavirus relief – The Hill – April 23, 2020
“The quartet of Republicans who cast no votes — Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.), plus three leaders of the Freedom Caucus, Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Ken Buck (Colo.) and Jody Hice (Ga.) — are all conservatives who have raised concerns about government spending and rising debt. Biggs, the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, took issue with the $12 billion set aside in the legislation for coronavirus contact tracing, where health workers try to track down individuals who have tested positive and their contacts.”
Chamber of Commerce president: PPP 2.0 won’t be enough – Axios – April 23, 2020
“Chamber of Commerce president Suzanne Clark told Axios on Thursday that Congress’ replenishment of the Paycheck Protection Program loan fund will not be enough to sustain small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. Clark said Congress will have to allocate ‘at least another $250 billion’ in order to hold small businesses over: ‘They can’t start working on the next round fast enough.'”
Nancy Pelosi on Twitter, April 23 – Moments ago, the House passed urgently-needed assistance to fight this coronavirus & save lives. With my signature, the interim coronavirus relief package goes to the President’s desk.
Andrew Pollack on Twitter, April 23 – The House just launched a committee to investigate the federal government’s coronavirus response. The left has no shame. Stop the partisan investigations into
@realDonaldTrump and start investigating CHINA!
Manu Raju on Twitter, April 23 – Inside the House chamber, most members are wearing masks when they’re seated – with a few notable exceptions: Namely, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.