Just after midnight last night, the House finally passed a bill to address the looming coronavirus pandemic. After several days of negotiations, capped off with 13 phone calls yesterday with Stephen Mnuchin, Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally hammered out a bill that the White House will support, passing it 363-40. And she did it backwards, and in heels!

If Trump is for it, then Mitch and the rest of the feckless Gippers will probably fall in line and vote for it. Or they would if they hadn't all pissed off for the weekend to go press the flesh and soak up those delicious germs back home. Here's Mitch McConnell in Kentucky with Justice Kegstand, swearing in another 38-year-old judge rated unqualified by the American Bar Association because FFS, HE'S ONLY BEEN PRACTICING LAW FOR 12 YEARS!

Priorities, people!


The bill that Pelosi and Mnuchin hammered out isn't perfect, but it's a good start. It ensures free coronavirus testing for all Americans, whether or not they have health insurance. So if the administration ever gets its shit together and actually makes tests available, people won't be discouraged from getting diagnosed because of cost.

Democrats had hoped to make paid sick leave permanent, but were forced to accept a temporary expansion, extending 14 days of paid absence to those affected by quarantine orders or forced to stay home with their children. The government will pick up the tab for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and will pay workers 2/3 of their salary for up to three months if they are sick or staying home to care for a sick person or children home due to virus-related school closings.

The bill also expands funding for unemployment insurance and food stamps, while relaxing eligibility requirements. Which is good, because those ghouls were just about to kick thousands of people off SNAP, virus be damned.

It's like a cruelty olympics, and everyone is taking home the gold!

The bill was delayed in part because Republicans wanted to make sure Hyde Amendment language barring use of federal funds in any facility that provides abortions was part of the bill, because GOD FORBID those doctors at Planned Parenthood be allowed to help out in a global pandemic. Or, as the Daily Caller put it, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to include a potential way to guarantee federal funding for abortion into the coronavirus economic stimulus plan, according to multiple senior White House officials." In the end, Pelosi had to include the Hyde language to get it passed — life's like that.

Now we have to wait for all those senators, who hightailed it to their districts, to get on airplanes and fly back to DC. Then they and their staffers can meet up debate the bill's provisions in a room full of hundreds of people, before casting their votes. Then they can fly home, and share whatever good news and germs they picked up along the way.

And not for nothing, but the average age of a US senator is almost 62, with multiple members in their 80s. So, while you and your family spent the past week stocking up on toilet paper and eggs so that you could do your part to keep vulnerable populations safe by staying the hell inside and not becoming a disease vector, your elected representatives will now have to fly around the country and hang out in a room with 100 other people who just did the same. Sorry, America, Mitch McConnell had a flight to catch!

AYUP. This one's on you, Mitch.

[Vox / WaPo]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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