Federal Relations

March 26, 2020

House to Take Up Emergency Bill on Friday

As noted earlier this morning, the Senate passed the $2-trillion relief package last night by a vote of 96 to 0.  Before the vote on final passage, there was plenty of last-minute drama that had to be addressed.

One of the late issues was raised by a group of conservative Senators who raised objections to provisions in the bill that would both extend the length of eligibility for unemployment benefits as well as the size of the unemployment checks.  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) countered by asserting that he would hold up progress on the legislation if those provisions were changed.  Ultimately, the group of conservatives was allowed to offer an amendment that would have decreased the benefits, which was defeated.  Following that, the Senate approved the bill 96 to 0.

Even as the Senate was debating the package, questions swirled about how the House would take it up, as most Members are currently back in their districts and face difficult choices about whether and how to return to Washington to vote.  At this point, the House is scheduled to bring up the bill on Friday and will seek to pass it by voice vote rather than take a roll call vote.

Read more about the behind the scenes debates and conversations in: