The new coronavirus relief law that was introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and later signed into law by President Trump includes $25 million for members of Congress.
Snuck into the law that includes more than $2.2 trillion dollars in spending to help offset the impact of the coronavirus, the money is not a pay raise for members but covers “salaries and expenses,” the Daily Caller reports.
The text of the bill reads the money covers “necessary expenses of the House of Representatives to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”
This includes the “House’s capability to telework” and “provide for reimbursement costs for the staff of the House Child Care Center and covers the costs of the House food service contracts,” according to House Appropriations Committee Communications Director Evan Hollander, who explained the bill in additional detail in an email with Daily Caller.
“In addition, it will support the House Sergeant-At-Arms on continuity of operations matters,” Hollander continued.
The Daily Caller adds:
In accordance with the 1989 Ethics Reform Act, congressional salaries adjustments are automatic and based on changes in private sector wages, unless the adjustment is statutorily denied. Congress has voted against pay increases since 2009, when they first instituted a pay freeze.
President Trump recognized “nonsense” Democrats added to the bill on several occasions but signed the bill anyway for the good it provides Americans and American businesses.
Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today. The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy. Our workers will be hurt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2020
The Daily Caller also reports:
The bill passed through Congress this week despite several hiccups, including last-minute delaying action by Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie. The package includes a $1,200 payment to single Americans who make less than $75,000 a year, $2,400 for families that make under $150,000 a year, and $500 for each child under the age of 17.
The relief will reach Americans via direct bank deposit in three weeks, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
While the Senate is adjourned until April 20th, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Senators to “stay nimble,” as more funding may be necessary.
“I wouldn’t be so quick to say you have to write something else,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said at a press conference Thursday. “Let’s let this bill work, just as long as we let the other two bills work as well. And whatever decision we have to make going forward, let’s do it with knowledge, let’s do it with the experience of what’s on the ground at that moment in time.”