Despite House leaders of both parties expressing confidence in passing the Senate’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus Friday, there are some fears a dissenter might gum it up by challenging a quorum or blocking a voice vote.
“A lot of members are pissed off,” a source told Fox News. “If we don’t have a quorum on [Friday], we’ll definitely have one by Saturday.”
The House will begin a two-hour debate at 9 a.m. ET, but it was not clear whether the measure would be able to pass on a voice vote, the House Majority Leader’s office said late Thursday.
While most House members are in their home districts because of the coronavirus outbreak, those able and willing to travel to Washington for a vote should arrive by 10 a.m. ET, according to the House advisory. Also, some members in quarantine due to COVID-19 definitely cannot attend. There were four senators missing in that chamber’s 96-0 vote last Wednesday night.
There have been discussions of a possible roll-call vote if a voice vote is blocked by dissenters.
Massie also tweeted:
“$2 trillion (Congress)
+$4 trillion (Fed & Treasury)
$6 trillion stimulus
$6 trillion divided by 350 million citizens = $17,000 per citizen
times a family of 4
=$68,000 per family of new national debt and dollar devaluation in this stimulus.
not a good deal”
“It’s the Thomas Massie show,” a senior Republican source told Fox News. “There are others who are egging him on.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is under pressure to win quick House passage of the coronavirus economic and health rescue package. The Senate approved the bill 96-0 after intense negotiations among Republicans, Democrats, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Pelosi said in an interview on Bloomberg TV she has “no doubts whatsoever the stimulus bill will pass by noon ET after a “lively” debate.
“We’ll have a strong bipartisan vote and hopefully by noon we’ll be finished; that will only depend on how carefully we have to come in, in small numbers to the floor of the House to vote,” she said.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy also predicted bipartisan support for the coronavirus measure.
“We will have a debate and a voice vote,” he said. “I don’t think there will be a need for anything else.”
Pelosi said earlier this week that if for some reason an in-person vote is needed, the House could allow some members to vote by proxy.
“[Massie] had better not do that!” a senior House Democratic aide told Fox News. “He’s going to make everyone in the building get [coronavirus].”
Information from The Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg was used in this report.