Pelosi vows quick House passage of Senate stimulus Friday

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote Biden angers Democrats by keeping Trump-era refugee cap Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones calls on Breyer to retire MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the House will move quickly on Friday to approve the Senate's massive, $2 trillion coronavirus relief package through the lower chamber and on to President TrumpDonald TrumpDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Taylor Greene defends 'America First' effort, pushes back on critics MORE, who has vowed to sign it immediately.

While a number of House lawmakers — conservatives and liberals alike — are grumbling about both the process and content of the mammoth stimulus bill, Pelosi predicted smooth sailing through the lower chamber with broad support from both parties.

"I feel certain that we will have a strong bipartisan vote," she told reporters in the Capitol.


Pelosi had initially pushed to pass the bill by unanimous consent, a procedure precluding the need to call lawmakers back to the Capitol to lodge their votes amid rising concerns over travel and crowding.

But some lawmakers have objected to the notion of passing such an enormous spending bill — the largest in the nation's history — without the opportunity to debate it on the floor and register their complaints.

With that in mind, Democratic leaders will move the bill by voice vote, allowing for that debate without requiring a full House to pass the legislation.

"We will have a victory tomorrow for America's workers. If someone has a different point of view, they can put it in the record," Pelosi said.

Putting pressure on House lawmakers to move quickly, the Senate passed its $2 trillion relief package unanimously late Wednesday night.


Among the major provisions, the bill provides cash payments up to $1,200 for individual Americans (more for families); expands unemployment insurance by $250 billion for those who lost their jobs during the crisis; offers more than $350 billion in low-cost loans to affected small businesses; and bails out the hardest-hit industries — including airline and hotel companies — to the tune of $500 billion.

Many House Democrats have hammered the package as a corporate giveaway, lamenting the exclusion of provisions to expand paid leave and strengthen worker-safety protections, particularly for the medical workers on the front lines of diagnosing and treating the coronavirus.

Democrats had also pressed to include more funding to expand food stamps, strengthen pension protections and provide free medical care — not just free testing — for those infected by the virus.

Pelosi and Democratic leaders have sought to ease those concerns by assuring restive lawmakers that they'll fight for those additions in the next, fourth round of emergency relief in the weeks and months ahead — a message Pelosi amplified Thursday.

"There were so many things that we didn't get in any of these bills yet, in a way that we need to," she said.

The daylong delay in the House vote reflects an effort by leaders in both parties to provide lawmakers with a window to peruse the enormous $2 trillion bill, which was negotiated primarily by Senate leaders and White House officials while the House has been on recess.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' House panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations MORE (D-Md.) had vowed to inform lawmakers of any House action at least 24 hours before it happened. And Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyKinzinger: Republicans who join 'America First' caucus should be stripped of committees McCarthy: GOP not the party of 'nativist dog whistles' Pro-Trump lawmakers form caucus promoting 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MORE (R-Calif.) has backed that timeline.