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House leaders spar ahead of Friday vote on aid package

Video credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on March 26, 2020 - Duration: 02:08s

House leaders spar ahead of Friday vote on aid package

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued partisan barbs Thursday, one day before the chamber is expected to pass the estimated $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill that already cleared the Senate.

Lisa Bernhard has more.

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House leaders spar ahead of Friday vote on aid package

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "Last night, as you know, the Senate passed important legislation…." U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday commended the Senate's overwhelming passage of the roughly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package and said she expected her chamber to pass the bill when it meets Friday…while giving credit to Democrats for improving the measure.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "We're very proud of the product.

We think we did jujitsu on it - that it went from a corporate-first proposal that the Republicans put forth in the Senate to a Democratic workers-first legislation." But that's not how House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saw it, who followed Pelosi's press conference with his own - the back-to-back briefings showcasing the bittern partisanship that had held up the bill's passage in the Senate for days.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY, SAYING: "A few minutes ago, the Speaker stood at this podium and claimed that House Democrats did what she called a 'jujitsu' to change the bill.

That is an outright lie." McCarthy claimed that parts of the bill that Democrats had fought for - such as four months of enhanced unemployment benefits - had been in place since Sunday, and chastised those across the aisle for holding up its passage in the Senate to request what he said were issues unrelated to the virus.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY, SAYING: "What Democrats did was a total disgrace." Despite the bill being the largest U.S. aid package in history, Pelosi said more funding is needed - invoking support from the Federal Reserve before taking another swipe at Republicans.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "The Chairman of the Fed, Mr. Powell, said to me, 'Interest rates are as low as they'll ever be - think big.'

What we did last night and what we will do tomorrow - $2 trillion - is about the cost of the tax scam Republicans foisted on the nation to give 83 percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent." House leaders are planning a voice vote on the bill Friday, given that at least two members have tested positive for the coronavirus, a handful of others are in self-quarantine and several states have issued stay-at-home orders.

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