The bill sped through the House and Senate in a matter of hours. The Senate cleared the massive package by a 92-6 vote after the House approved the COVID-19 package by another lopsided vote, 359-53. The tallies were a bipartisan coda to months of partisanship and politicking as lawmakers wrangled over the relief question, a logjam that broke after President-elect Joe Biden
The bill is a staggering 5,593-page legislation — by far the longest bill ever.
The bill combines coronavirus-fighting funds with financial relief for individuals and businesses.
It would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans.
Following the news, the president-elect tweeted: “I applaud this relief package, but our work is far from over.
“Starting in the new year, Congress will need to immediately get to work on support for our COVID-19 plan.
“My message to everyone out there struggling right now: help is on the way.”
However, some insist the bill is far from enough.
“This deal is not everything I want — not by a long shot,” said Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., a longstanding voice in the party’s old-school liberal wing.
“The choice before us is simple.
“It’s about whether we help families or not. It’s about whether we help small businesses and restaurants or not. It’s about whether we boost (food stamp) benefits and strengthen anti-hunger programs or not. And whether we help those dealing with a job loss or not.
“To me, this is not a tough call.”