House speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking now at her weekly press conference, says she is “certain” there will be a “strong” bipartisan vote in the House for the coronavirus bill that will come to the floor tomorrow morning.
“Tomorrow we’ll bring the bill to the floor. It will pass,” she said. “It will pass with strong bipartisan support.”
She repeated that she is confident the House will pass the stimulus bill tomorrow by voice vote, meaning there would be no roll call if no member objects.
“If somebody has a different point of view, they can put in in the record,” she said.
Pelosi also said Congress is “just not doing enough for state and local government. That’s just the way it is.”
While touting the bill as a marked improvement from the initial Senate proposal, Pelosi also outlined some areas where Democrats would like to see in the next round of legislation.
@SpeakerPelosi now rattling off things that Democrats would like to see in next coronavirus funding rounds:
— More $$ for SNAP (food stamps)
— More $$ for state/local govt
— More funding for D.C., says GOP treated district in “discriminatory way”
Asked when the next bill will happen and how that will work, she says, “we really should be operating four corners,” referring to House and Senate leaders.
“I’ll be working on most of it from here and also with my committees.”
Pelosi said she’s heard some Republicans saying the stimulus that passed the Senate is too Democratic.
“What can I say?” she said.
She began her remarks by noting the death toll, which has surpassed 1,000 in the US.
She urged Americans to stay home and respect federal guidelines for social distancing. If not, she warned that “the light at the end of the tunnel may be a train coming at us.”
As Pelosi reaches her eighth decade of life, she told reporters she will not be celebrating her birthday until she can “hug [her] grandbabies.”
The House is planning to take up the $2tn rescue package passed by the Senate on Friday.
But the logistics of holding a vote in the midst of a pandemic are complicated: several members are quarantining, in addition to at least two members who have tested positive for Convid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Flights are severely restricted in some states while travel may pose undue risk for certain lawmakers.
Nevertheless, one Kentucky lawmaker wasn’t going to miss the vote at any cost. For members struggling to find flights, he suggested they “hitch a ride.”