Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

COVID-19 relief bill heads to Biden's desk after House signs off on Senate amendments

The House on Wednesday signed off on the Senate-amended COVID-19 relief bill, which means the $1.9 trillion package is officially headed to President Biden's desk. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said he'll put pen to paper on Friday afternoon.

The 220-211 vote was heavily partisan, as expected. No Republicans voted for the measure, which they consider a wasteful ploy by Democrats to push through progressive policies unrelated to the pandemic, while only two members of the Democrats' slim majority opposed it. Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) again parted ways with his Democratic colleagues, just as he did while voting for the initial bill last month. But Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), the other Democrat who voted against the first version of the bill, backed it this time, suggesting some of the changes, which include no gradual minimum wage hike, a lower weekly unemployment benefit, and a lower income cap on direct payments, satisfied his previous concerns.

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the final tally and the bill's passage, applause — presumably from Democrats — broke out in the chamber. Tim O'Donnell