Highlights of Congress' $2.2 trillion virus relief package

In this image from video, the final vote of 96-0 shows passage of the $2.2 trillion economic rescue package in response to coronavirus pandemic, passed by the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

U.S. Reps. Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn took to Twitter to slam some of the provisions of competing economic relief bills, one of which the Senate passed unanimously on Wednesday.

“This ‘coronavirus response’ package has special carveouts of $75M for public broadcasting and $50M for museums/libraries,” Buck wrote of the Senate-passed measure. “That’s $125M for pet projects instead of for struggling families and businesses. Dems are again exploiting a crisis to fund their liberal wishlist.”

He also said that $25 million for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts had “no place” in the bill, and described a requirement that businesses receiving loans remain neutral in any union-organizing efforts as “a special carveout for union bosses.”

The bill, worth approximately $2.2 trillion, would provide an additional $600 per week to laid off workers on top of unemployment benefits, $500 billion to various industries, $1,200 per U.S. resident, and $150 billion to state and local governments, among many other features. After the Senate struggled over the weekend to reach consensus, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives authored their own proposal, which earned a rebuke from Lamborn.

“It seems like the Democrats see an opportunity in this crisis,” he wrote. “They are not here to help the American people, but to hold an emergency relief bill hostage until they get their radical wish list.” The “radical” features he listed included a $15 minimum wage, same-day voter registration and expanded collective bargaining rights.

The House will vote on the Senate’s version on Friday. Although members are in their districts, the bill will pass unanimously if no representative objects. The Republican House leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, described it as “strong, bipartisan legislation" on which he still would like debate.

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