Democrats in the House of Commons passed a more than $ 3 trillion Covid-19 bailout bill by a vote of 208-199 on Friday night.
The measure was approved despite opposition from Republicans as well as some moderate and progressive Democrats. Fourteen Democrats crossed party lines to vote against and one Republican voted for it.
The legislation, which reflects democratic priorities and was not the product of bipartite negotiations, would constitute the largest rescue plan in the history of the United States.
Democratic House leaders have argued that the package, which allocates funds to state and local governments, coronavirus tests and a new round of direct payments to Americans, is urgently needed to deal with the crisis .
The legislation should not be passed by the Senate due to opposition from the GOP. Democrats also had to contend with criticism and reluctance from moderates upset by the fact that the bill did not enjoy broad bipartisan support and from progressive thinkers that the bill did not go far enough to help Americans cope with the fallout from the pandemic.
A number of moderate Democrats voted against it before the final vote, including vulnerable lawmakers in competitive battlefield districts.
First-year Democratic representatives. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Ben McAdams of Utah, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Cindy Axne of Iowa and Elaine Luria of Virginia all declared before the vote that they opposed it and said they plan to vote against.
Where are the politicians: Democratic representative Haley Stevens, a first-year student in a swing neighborhood in Michigan who was the subject of an intense lobbying campaign, announced shortly before the final vote that she would support the bill. She told management that she would vote against it, but was pressured all day, several sources told CNN.
Representative Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, said Friday that she would vote against the bill. She and a number of other progressives had been frustrated that their proposed pay check guarantee was not included in the bill.
GOP representative Pete King said before the final vote that he would cross party lines and support the measure. The New York Republican planned to vote for the measure, his spokesman told CNN earlier in the week.
As a sign of the gravity of this repression of the Democrats, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, worked to obtain support for the bill before a final vote with several sources involved in the counting effort, telling CNN that Pelosi had worked hard behind the scenes to make sure she had the votes.
A little more context: When asked before the vote how hard she worked for the vote, Pelosi said “as usual” and that she was “confident” that the bill would be passed.
Pelosi, a Californian Democrat, defended the bill against partisan attacks on Thursday, saying, “We are putting our offer on the table. We are open to negotiation.”
Most Republicans have dismissed the aid package as a Liberal wish list. They argued that it is too early to move forward with another far-reaching legislative response to the pandemic without first waiting to see the results of the billions of dollars in aid that have already been enacted.