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House passes $1.9T COVID-relief package

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference with other House Democratic leaders about Covid-19 financial relief and minimum wage on Capitol Hill February 26, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference with other House Democratic leaders about Covid-19 financial relief and minimum wage on Capitol Hill February 26, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:55 AM PT – Saturday, February 26, 2021

The Democrat-led House passed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, the American Rescue Plan of 2021. The final vote was 219 to 212. Every Republican and two Democrats voted against it. During debate, Democrats claimed the bill was urgently needed to fight an ongoing crisis.

“Since the emergence of the coronavirus, our nation has been in a perpetual state of mourning,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said. “The number of Americans killed by this pandemic is nearly equal to one death a minute, every minute for a year. Every corner of society has been impacted.”

However, Republicans were quick to point out that while the coronavirus made an unprecedented impact on the country, the nation is recovering and a package this large at this time was unnecessary.

“When you add it all up, the size of this payoff is jaw-dropping: $1.9 trillion in new spending,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said. “It is the single most expensive spending bill ever, but will it help people get back to work? No. Will it help students get back in the classroom immediately? No. Will it help get vaccines to those who want it? No. It doesn’t spend a third of the entire cost of the bill for another two years — undermining the claim that this bill is ‘urgent.’”

Many Republicans used their floor time to criticize the Democrats for using their majority to sneak in billions in “pork,” which is an old D.C. metaphor for funding for “pet projects” in a representative’s home district that is designed purely to appease their constituents.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the primary target of the GOP after it was discovered she had buried a $141 million public transit expansion project for a district in the San Francisco Bay Area within the bill’s near 600 pages. The bill is headed to the Senate, which with seats divided 50-50, is likely to be an even closer vote.

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