Pelosi Says $900 Billion Covid Aid Bill Only a ‘First Step’ Toward Full Relief

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    The House was poised to vote Monday on a massive 5,593-page package of legislation that combines pandemic relief with a bill to fund government operations just hours after lawmakers got the text.

    The roughly $900 billion aid package is attached to a $1.4 trillion measure to fund government operations through the end of the fiscal year. Also included are major tax, energy and national security policy measures.

    Congressional leaders said they expect the legislation to pass both chambers and the White House said President Donald Trump would sign it. Once the House acts it will go to the Senate.

    “We’re going to stay here until we finish tonight,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters earlier at the Capitol.

    Lawmakers from both parties complained about the push to vote with such little time to digest the contents of the sprawling piece of legislation.

    “It’s not good enough to hear about what’s in the bill. Members of Congress need to see & read the bills we are expected to vote on,” Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter.

    Republican Representative Andy Biggs, head of the conservative Freedom Caucus, likewise lambasted the schedule.

    “No one will have the time to read and vet this monstrosity,” he tweeted.

    Because of the time needed to finish votes and enroll the lengthy legislation on parchment paper so that Trump can sign it, the House on Monday afternoon passed a seven day stopgap spending bill as a backup measure to prevent a shutdown. The Senate has not yet indicated when it would pass the stopgap bill, but it could do so quickly if no senator objects.

    After months of stalemate, the deal was brokered during more than a week of furious negotiations, sparked by a group of Democratic and Republican senators who drew up their own compromise proposal and urged their leaders to act.

    It also came at the last possible moment for Congress to act before lawmakers are set to leave Washington for their year-end break.

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    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
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