House passes Democratic relief bill

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi participates in a TV interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 29, 2020.

Erin Scott | Reuters

The House passed a $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus stimulus plan on Thursday night even as Democrats and the Trump administration struggle to strike a relief deal. 

The chamber approved the legislation in a 214-207 vote. Eighteen Democrats voted against the measure as lawmakers in competitive districts grow wary of the ongoing impasse over aid.

The bill likely will not get through the Republican-held Senate and become law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has opposed the legislation as his caucus resists spending trillions more on the federal response to the pandemic. 

The vote followed a Thursday conversation between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in which they did not forge an aid agreement but agreed to continue talks. They failed to bridge a gulf on a range of issues, including how much aid to send state and local governments and whether to establish a liability shield for businesses and schools. 

Earlier in the day, Pelosi downplayed the possibility that talks with Mnuchin this week offered the last, best chance to approve more relief before the Nov. 3 election. But it is unclear now what could make either side budge, as Democrats call for a sweeping package to boost the economy and health-care system and the GOP worries about injecting too much money into the response.

Congress has failed to pass new rescue funds for months as the country reports tens of thousands of new Covid-19 cases per day and massive corporations plan new layoffs and furloughs. The $600 per week supplemental unemployment benefit, federal moratorium on evictions and window to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans set up to provide relief during the

House votes to kill Rep. Gohmert resolution to ban Democratic Party

Gohmert reintroduced the privileged resolution last week, forcing a swift procedural vote in the House that mostly fell along party lines.

The resolution also would have directed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to remove “any item that names, symbolizes, or mentions any political organization or party that has ever held a public position that supported slavery or the Confederacy, from any area within the House.”

Gohmert introduced the resolution in July shortly after the House voted to remove the statues of Confederate leaders and replace a bust of Roger B. Taney, the U.S. chief justice who wrote the Supreme Court decision that said people of African descent are not U.S. citizens.

The vote was 305 to 113 for the bill to replace the bust of Taney, which sits outside the old Supreme Court chamber on the first floor of the Capitol, with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black member of the Supreme Court.

That vote came amid a broader push by Democrats to remove statues, portraits and other art in the Capitol honoring Confederate leaders and other controversial figures, at a time of national reckoning over systemic racism after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Gohmert’s resolution cited Democratic Party platforms in the 1800s and the filibuster by some in the party against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which a Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, signed into law.

“A great portion of the history of the Democratic Party is filled with racism and hatred,” Gohmert said in July. “Since people are demanding we rid ourselves of the entities, symbols, and reminders of the repugnant aspects of our past, then the time has come for Democrats to acknowledge their party’s loathsome and bigoted past, and consider changing their party name to something that isn’t so blatantly and offensively tied