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 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 outbreak all expired weeks ago.