The House passed a coronavirus relief plan early Saturday after hours of talks between Democrats and the Trump administration on how to blunt the economic damage of the global pandemic.
The chamber approved the 110-page bill to provide relief to consumers and workers walloped by the outbreak less than an hour after text was released. The measure passed in an overwhelming 363-40-1 vote.
The legislation now heads to the Senate. The upper chamber left Washington for the weekend and will not have a chance to approve it until next week.
In a statement Saturday, after the House passed the bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said senators “will need to carefully review” the proposal. “But I believe the vast majority of Senators in both parties will agree we should act swiftly to secure relief for American workers, families, and small businesses,” he said.
It marks only one piece of the likely congressional response to the coronavirus, which has disrupted American life and economic activity. Congress already approved $8.3 billion in emergency spending to curb the pandemic’s spread. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has mentioned the need to pass a third measure to respond to the outbreak.
Confusion swirled around the economic relief plan’s fate throughout the day Friday as the coronavirus spread. Earlier, Pelosi wrote to colleagues that “we are proud to have reached an agreement” with the White House. But after 7:30 p.m. ET, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, said his party had not actually made a final agreement with the White House.
Later, though, President Donald Trump voiced his support for the package – a key endorsement for House Republicans wary about supporting it.
In a series of tweets, the president said “I fully support” the legislation negotiated by Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven