Washington DC (Ajit USA) House Democrats have approved a $3 trillion coronavirus relief measure and a historic rules change to allow lawmakers to vote remotely during the pandemic.
The 208-199 vote, over strong Republican opposition, advances what boils down to a campaign-season display of Democratic economic and health-care priorities. It has no chance of becoming law as written, but will likely spark difficult negotiations with the White House and Senate Republicans.
The bill would aid state and local governments, include another $1,200 payment to individuals and extend an enhanced unemployment benefit, among other measures.
Democrats have argued that the sweeping aid package, which also allocates funding for coronavirus testing, is urgently needed to address the unfolding crisis. The legislation, which reflects Democratic priorities and was not a product of bipartisan negotiations, would stand as the largest relief package in U.S. history.
House Republican leaders have voiced opposition to both the relief package and the rules change for remote voting. House Democrats’ leaders have expressed confidence that both measures will pass the House on Friday. The relief package is not expected to be taken up by the Senate, however, due to Republican opposition.