ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT
By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The House of Representatives approved by voice vote Friday an over $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, sending the bill to U.S. President Donald Trump to sign into law.
The voice vote came over objections from congressman Thomas Massie, a Republican who vowed to delay the bill's passage by calling for a roll call vote that would have required many members of Congress return to Washington amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Massie's effort earlier drew a stern rebuke from his fellow Republicans and Trump who called the Kentucky representative "a third rate Grandstander," and called for him to be expelled from the Republican party.
"He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous & costly," Trump fumed on Twitter. "Workers & small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn’t their fault."
Following the voice vote Massie took to the House floor demanding a voice vote, saying he "came here to make sure our republic doesn't die by unanimous consent in an empty chamber and I request a recorded vote."
The request was denied due to a lack of support in the chamber, and a quorum was deemed present.
The measure, already passed in the Senate, includes $1200 payments to many Americans, bolsters unemployment benefits and offers hundreds of millions of dollars in economic assistance for large corporations and small businesses struggling to cope with the economic impacts of efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Trump has signaled his eagerness to sign the package into law as the U.S. economy struggles to recover from major losses caused by individuals staying home and generally limiting their spending, and mass layoffs prompted by business closures.