House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he doesn’t believe the House should attempt to pass the Senate’s $2 trillion coronaviruses stimulus package via unanimous consent, arguing that it should be debated and members should be on the record with their votes.
“I know we’re in a very challenging time, I know we have members who are quarantined, members who are battling the virus, members in New York City who could not travel here without 14 days, but I don’t believe we should pass a $2 trillion package by unanimous consent,” he told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.
Leadership in both parties have weighed the possibility of attempting to pass the bill via unanimous consent, which would preclude the need for members to travel back to the Capitol.
But if just one lawmaker wants to object, it would prevent the bill’s passage under such rules.
McCarthy said a voice vote could be a viable option to allow members to have their voices heard.
“There is a way to do it by not having to have everybody here, but also allowing everybody to have a voice. I think we should have time for debate. But I also think it would be able to pass it by a voice vote, and with a voice vote, it gives you the opportunity that your constituents, and those who represent you could debate the bill, could voice their opinion and not say that everybody is agreeing to it, yes or no,” he said.
McCarthy said he believes members should be granted at least 24 hours to review the bill, adding that he doesn’t want to see a delay in its passage. He went on to take a swing at House Democratic leadership, accusing them of politicizing the must-pass legislation, which he feels could have passed days earlier.
“The unfortunate part of all of this is to delay for the last three days, there was no need for that that was politics at its worst,” he said.
The Senate is expected to vote on the measure on Wednesday, though last-minute difficulties have complicated the upper chamber’s plans.