WASHINGTON (CBS SF/AP) — The record-breaking $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic relief package approved by the U.S. Senate will pass in the House of Representatives with “strong bipartisan support,” according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The San Francisco Democratic leader spoke to reporters Thursday on Capitol Hill the morning after the Senate passed the massive spending bill by a 96-0 vote. The bill, the largest economic relief measure in U.S. history, is meant to prop up businesses, workers and health care systems overwhelmed by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic amid mounting concerns the economy is headed or already in a recession.
California was set to receive $10 billion in federal funding as part of the spending bill.
“We will have a victory tomorrow for America’s workers,” Pelosi said. “Tomorrow we’ll bring the bill to the floor … It will pass. It will pass with strong bipartisan support.”
COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Pelosi praised the bill’s expansion of unemployment benefits, but encouraged companies battered by the pandemic to keep paying their workers, even those who are furloughed.
The bill’s passage in the Senate comes as evidence mounts the U.S. economy is being severely battered by the pandemic. On Thursday, the government reported 3.3 million new weekly unemployment claims, four times the previous record.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in a TV interview the economy “may well be in a recession.”
The unanimous Senate vote late Wednesday came despite misgivings on both sides about whether it goes too far or not far enough and capped days of difficult negotiations as Washington confronted a national challenge unlike it has ever faced.
Pelosi said Wednesday that while the bill does not address every need, the bipartisan agreemen “takes us a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people.”
The measure is set for House passage on Friday and President Donald Trump’s immediate signature.
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