After Democrats Revolted Over States Losing Biden Stimulus Money, Pelosi Removed Fresh Coronavirus Help From the Federal Spending Package!
- On Wednesday, a problem in the government’s finance plan was discovered at the last minute.
- The House of Representatives voted to reject $15 billion in new COVID-19 funds after members objected to the clawback of state funding.
- Democrats maintained their commitment to passing a massive government funding measure on Wednesday, as previously said.
The planned House vote on a $1.5 trillion federal spending package was postponed Wednesday afternoon after several Democrats staged a mutiny over anticipated cuts to state and local aid to pay further coronavirus treatment. The vote was originally scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. After much deliberation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was compelled to abandon the new COVID-19 funding.
The opposition was mainly among Democrats who were concerned about losing out on federal assistance that had been allocated to their states to battle the pandemic. The 2,741-page financing bill was filed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with a vote slated for the early afternoon of the same afternoon.
The House vote, however, was jeopardized when Democrats from Michigan, Florida, Washington state, and other states realized that $15 billion in coronavirus relief funds were to be used to support virus testing and vaccine delivery, among other things.
The measure would fund around half of that amount by recouping funds from states that are still owing money under the stimulus program that was passed last year. The Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, had declared success on this issue earlier in the day, which was a major Republican priority.
Democrats from the impacted states were outraged by the legislation. “This agreement was reached behind closed doors,” Minnesota Representative Angie Craig told reporters. “Members learned the news this morning. This is a blatant violation of the law.”
Others were dissatisfied as well. According to a Democratic staffer familiar with the case, Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington has placed phone calls to the White House, other members of the state’s Congressional delegation, and the state’s governor on the problem. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee informed DelBene that if the proposal passes, the state will lose $400 million in COVID-19 funds, according to the governor.
The outpouring of rage reached even the most progressive of progressives. According to Rep. Cori Bush, “in Missouri, this revenue has already been allotted to cover daycare, healthcare, housing, and our public schools.” “To then turn around and say, in the name of bipartisanship, that we’re returning hundreds of millions of dollars is simply absurd.”
Finally, Pelosi was forced to renounce the additional COVID-funding, which she described as “heartbreaking” in a statement issued late on Wednesday afternoon. However, she maintained that the legislation must be passed on Wednesday in order to provide emergency financing for Ukraine.
Democrats had prepared a four-day funding patch to keep the government’s doors open beyond Friday as a contingency plan in case the shutdown failed.
It was not immediately obvious when the massive spending measure would be able to pass through the House of Representatives. House Democrats must return to the Rules Committee to alter the measure before it can be considered by the full House of Representatives. Then they must vote on a rule on the floor that establishes the boundaries of debate, which will take place over the course of two hours. It appeared as though the voting may last till the wee hours of the morning.
“Everything is going absolutely according to plan,” remarked Rep. Jim McGovern, chair of the Rules Committee, on the House floor, a tinge of sarcasm in his voice. “Everything is wonderful in its own way,” says the author.
The House of Representatives adjourned shortly after that so that Democrats could work out their disagreements on the funding plan.