House leaders are getting creative as they brainstorm ways to avoid making the chamber a coronavirus petri dish to pass a $2 trillion stimulus bill — with an unlikely unanimous vote with few lawmakers present preferred by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
After sniping between institutionalists and modernizers, the House Rules Committee on Monday found remote voting wasn’t possible, as hundreds of lawmakers would have to return to Washington to authorize that change.
Instead, the Rule Committee proposed that lawmakers orchestrate a unanimous vote, or choose another fix, such as staggering voting times, trying rare proxy voting, or making a constitutionally dubious rules change to allow less than 50 percent lawmaker attendance.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that it would be easiest to simply have a unanimous vote, where members present would not point out the lack of 50 percent attendance. “If we don’t have unanimous consent, my two options with my members is to call them back to vote to amend this bill or to pass our own bill,” she said in a CNBC interview.
It’s unclear if legislative leaders can corral feisty back-benchers, however, in a bid to avoid the stuffy, nearly 450-seat chamber. When in session, crowded bodies make the room uncomfortably muggy.
Although the stimulus package includes direct checks to millions of Americans, up to $3,400 for a family of four, and a boost in unemployment pay, it also contains massive aid to businesses which left-wing and conservative critics call bailouts.
The bill includes $350 billion in loans to small businesses that would be forgiven if the businesses don’t lay off workers, and $500 billion in loans to other businesses, including $58 billion to airlines.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), wrote on Twitter Tuesday that “developments of this Senate relief bill are concerning.”
“We are hearing lots of vague statements, but not a single member of Congress has seen actual bill text,” AOC wrote.
A handful of fiscally conservative Republicans also could raise hell over a lack of quorum and force their colleagues to return to town, though several of the most conservative Republican offices did not respond to requests for comment from The Post.
Officials will need to make up their minds fast as the Senate moves to pass the relief bill and send it to the House as early as Wednesday.
Two House lawmakers — Reps. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) — tested positive for COVID-19 last week and other lawmakers including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) are in self-quarantine. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Fla.) tested positive Sunday after lunching with colleagues and visiting the congressional gym.
More than 50,000 U.S. residents are diagnosed with COVID-19 and many large cities, including Washington, DC, have closed all non-essential businesses and discouraged travel.
There is precedent for the House agreeing to come together in a time of pandemic to allow unanimous passage of legislation. During the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, a below-quorum but unanimous vote expanded the Public Health Service.
Enjoy Daily Prayers and , Open Heavens Daily Devotional, Billy Graham Daily Devotional , Our Daily Bread Devotionals , UCB Word for Today Devotionals , In touch Ministries Daily Devotionals , My Utmost For His Highest Daily Devotionals , All Rccg Live programs and Events , Rccg Sunday School Manuals ( Weekly Teacher and Students Manuals ) , Winner Chapel Daily Covenant Hours and Programs , Dclm Pastor Kumugi Daily Manna Devotional , Seeds Of Destiny Daily Devotional , Spirit Meat Rev. Olusola Areogun Daily Devotional , CAC living Water Daily Devotional Guides , CAC Weekly Sunday School Manuals , Rhapsody Of Realities Daily Devotionals , Our Daily Journey Devotionals , Turning Point Today Daily Devotionals , Christian Useful Secrets Tips , Download Nigerian Worship Video Musics and songs And MP3 , Ray Stedman Daily Devotional , Pastor Benny Hinn Inspirational Teachings , Bishop David Oyedepo Inspirational Teachings, Pastor Rick Warren Daily Hope Devotional , Pastor Faith Oyedepo Motivational Messages , Daily Devotions Etc