Trump signs $2T pandemic relief that funds airline bailout, medical supplies, jobless benefits and cash for families
House approved the deal by voice vote hours earlier, after a lone Republican forced lawmakers back to Washington. Senate vote was 96-0.
The Dallas Morning News
President Donald Trump speaks before signing the coronavirus stimulus relief package in the Oval Office on March 27, 2020, as (from left) Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence, look on.(Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON – The president signed into law a $2.2 trillion package on Friday to address the COVID-19 pandemic, providing funds to bailout airlines, expand jobless benefits and give families a quick infusion of cash.
It’s the biggest emergency response in U.S. history, and lawmakers warned that it’s only a down payment as nations around the world cope with the highly contagious new coronavirus.
“I never signed anything with a T on it,” President Donald Trump marveled during an Oval Office signing ceremony hours after the massive deal sailed through the House on a near-unanimous voice vote.
During the House debate, Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., called the unprecedented package a mere “stabilization” measure with millions of Americans out of work in a matter of weeks, predicting that “a real stimulus” will still be needed.
The Senate vote on Wednesday was 96-0, with four senators in quarantine. In the House, a lone Kentucky Republican forced lawmakers back to Washington for a debate by refusing to go along with a streamlined process allowing unanimous approval with only a handful present.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was spotted arguing with Rep. Thomas Massie on the House floor, and huddling with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
As the vote neared, Pelosi asked lawmakers observing the debate from their offices to sit in the galleries overlooking the chamber —letting them keep their distance from each other while staying close enough to vote. It was one of many extraordinary aspects of the proceedings.
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