The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $1.9 trillion bill on Saturday designed to address the financial and economic impact of the coronavirus lockdowns on the nation.
The House voted 219-212. All Republicans opposed the bill, with two Democrat lawmakers, Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, joining them.
"We are moved to act swiftly to put an end to this pandemic and to stem the suffering felt by so many," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said.
The bill includes:
- $1,400 checks for Americans earning less than $75,000 annually
- increases in unemployment benefits to $400 per week through the end of August
- child tax credit boosted to $3,600 per child
- $350 billion for state and local government funding
- $170 billion for K-12, higher education schools
The bill also proposes a gradual increase of the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, which has been $7.25 per hour since 2009. Pelosi said it is "inevitable that the $15-minimum wage will be achieved, even if it is inconceivable to some."
Republicans blasted the legislation as the "Democrats' costly, corrupt, and liberal spending package." House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) highlighted how much of the bill had nothing to do with coronavirus relief, and noted upon its passage, "The Swamp is back."
"Congress won't actually vote on this bill until 2 a.m. Saturday," McCarthy said. "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. We ran the numbers. The amount of money that actually goes to defeating the virus is less than 9 percent – Less than 9 percent! So don't call it a rescue bill. Don't call it a relief bill. Call it the Pelosi Payoff."