Pelosi vows quick House passage of Senate stimulus Friday

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPhotos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level 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 TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 HoyerOvernight Defense & National Security — US tries to deter Russian invasion of Ukraine Senate eyes plan B amid defense bill standoff On The Money — Congress races to keep the lights on MORE (D-Md.) had vowed to inform lawmakers of any House action at least 24 hours before it happened. And Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyDemocrats livid over GOP's COVID-19 attacks on Biden GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level McCarthy laments distractions from far-right members MORE (R-Calif.) has backed that timeline.