BREAKING NEWS: US House passes $484B business aid bill; Rooney absent, Diaz-Balart, Steube approve

04-23-20 Final HR 266 voteThe final vote on the latest Coronavirus aid bill.       (Image: C-Span)

April 23, 2020 by David Silverberg.

By an extraordinarily lopsided bipartisan vote of 388 to 5, the US House of Representatives tonight voted in favor of House Resolution (HR) 266, providing $484 billion in further stimulus, aiding small businesses devastated by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Two of Southwest Florida’s representatives, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25-Fla.) and Greg Steube (R-17-Fla.) voted for the bill.

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-19-Fla.) was absent, making this the fourth major Coronavirus relief package whose vote he has missed.

Ironically, on April 16 and 17 Rooney was vocal on the need to replenish the Paycheck Protection Plan, the previous stimulus bill for business that almost immediately ran out of money once it launched.

“Over 90 percent of our Southwest Florida economy is tied to small business owners that need the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to be funded and functioning,” Rooney argued in an April 17 statement.

“Most of these businesses are desperately trying to do the right thing by keeping their employees on the payroll and continuing to pay their bills. The people that are being helped by this program do not have weeks, or even days to wait – they need this funding immediately. This economic disaster was not caused by anything that these businesses did and was not a market driven collapse. The government, in response to the deadly health aspects of COVID-19, shut the economy down -and the government must provide assistance. Now is not the time for partisan political games.”

He also tweeted: “Small businesses are hurting and the original PPP funds have been exhausted. Hopefully leaders of both parties will quickly work out an additional funding plan.”

That was precisely what was in HR 266.

A request for comment by Rep. Rooney and his office had not been answered as of this posting.

Passage of the bill by the House approves action taken earlier by the Senate. The bill now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature to be enacted into law.

Liberty lives in light

© 2020 by David Silverberg


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