At around 2 a.m. Saturday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the biggest relief bill yet. This massive $1.9 trillion stimulus package will be the sixth COVID bill passed since the pandemic began a year ago.
There were two Democrats who voted against their party’s plan: U.S. Representatives Jared Golden from Maine and Kurt Schrader of Orgon, both of which also opposed a $3 trillion bill last year that never got passed.
“During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities,” Golden argued. “This bill addresses urgent needs, and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending.”
Not one Republican was in favor of Saturday’s bill. Just before the vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy mockingly referred to the proposal as “Pelosi’s Payoff Bill,” and described it as “Democrats’ costly, corrupt and liberal spending package,” something which he claimed to signify, “The Swamp is back.”
McCarthy noted the time Congress was set to vote on the bill, 2 a.m. Saturday, “Why? Because Democrats are so embarrassed by all the non-COVID waste in this bill that they are jamming it through in the dead of night.”
Many Republicans’ main concern was Democrats’ inclusion of a $15 minimum wage requirement in the package — arguing it would only hurt businesses and destroy American jobs.
A few hours before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the bill from the House floor and declared that one way or another, the $15 minimum wage goal would be achieved.
“It is inevitable to all of us, the $15 minimum wage will be achieved, even if it is inconceivable to some, it is inevitable to us – and we will work diligently to shorten the distance between the inevitable and the inconceivable,” said Pelosi.