House votes on $3 trillion aid; Senate vows to reject it

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday will vote on the largest economic stimulus package ever - a $3 trillion Democratic bill to help relieve the heavy economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure includes $500 billion in aid to state governments, another round of direct payments to individuals and families, and hazard pay to healthcare and other frontline workers.

But Senate Republicans have promised it will be “dead on arrival” in their chamber.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill, “an 1,800-page seasonal catalog of left-wing oddities” said more time is needed to gauge the effectiveness of the $3 trillion in aid that’s already been passed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to McConnell’s remarks Thursday with this:

“He wants us to just pause. He wants us to just pause. But families know that hunger doesn’t take a pause. Not having a job doesn’t take a pause. Not being able to pay the rent doesn’t take a pause.”

Some 36.5 million people in the United States have filed for unemployment since the crisis began, representing more than one in five workers.

Highlighting the pandemic’s economic fallout, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday proposed deep spending cuts in his state - the country’s most-populous – and pleaded for more help from Congress.

“The federal government has a moral and ethical and economic obligation to help support the states, after all, what is the point of government does not just affect the safety and the wellbeing of citizens.”

Besides the coronavirus bill, the House will also try to pass a measure that would allow members for the first time to cast votes in the chamber by proxy during the pandemic.

Many Republicans are also opposing that measure, saying it is essential that lawmakers vote in person.