These Eight Pennsylvanians in Congress Voted Against $2,000 Coronavirus Relief

US Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Luzerne, speaks in on the House floor on Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)

By Katelyn Kivel, Patrick Abdalla

December 29, 2020

The US House of Representatives passed a measure to boost coronavirus relief payments to $2,000 on Monday. But eight of the 18 Pennsylvanians in the lower chamber of Congress opposed it. 

The economic hardships felt in communities hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic continue as the virus rages on, but the stimulus signed by President Donald Trump over the weekend has fallen far short of Americans’ needs. Eight conservatives Pennsylvania sent to Congress opposed an effort Monday to further help struggling families.

“He was more or less asleep or playing golf the entire time that we were negotiating these bills,” US Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) told KDKA in Pittsburgh, referring to Trump. “I’m glad that he wants to help us get people more money. I frankly agree with him on the $2,000, but he should have been there a month ago, two months ago, six months ago.”

Americans will receive a second coronavirus relief payment of only $600, a fact people on social media have thoroughly lambasted. That’s half of the first relief payment that was issued in the spring, and brings the total of direct Congressional support Americans have seen to $1,800—an average of $200 per month. Pennsylvania has a 6.6% unemployment rate.

The latest stimulus falls short of the $2,000 Trump demanded for the December coronavirus relief package, which he delayed signing due to the unsatisfactory relief payment. 

The US House of Representatives passed legislation Monday to make up the difference. If signed into law, it would boost the relief checks by $1,400.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell blocked the effort on Tuesday.

Some Democratic members of Pennsylvania’s delegation took to social media to tout the benefits of the bill, while others urged Republicans in the senate to take action.

“These payments would help Americans take care of basic expenses and boost our economy as we look toward the end of this pandemic,”  US Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) said on his Facebook page Monday night. 

US Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) called out McConnell and Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

The Eight Pennsylvanians in Congress Who Voted Against Relief

Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) was the only Republican to vote for the bill.

The nay votes were:

  • John Joyce (R-Blair)
  • Fred Keller (R-Snyder)
  • Mike Kelly (R-Butler)
  • Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne)
  • Scott Perry (R-York)
  • Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny)
  • Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster)
  • Glenn Thompson (R-Centre)

Perry defended his decision on Twitter.

The Full Pennsylvania Roll Call

  • Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) Yea
  • Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) Yea
  • Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) Yea
  • Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) Yea
  • Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) Yea
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) Yea
  • Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) Yea
  • John Joyce (R-Blair) Nay
  • Fred Keller (R-Snyder) Nay
  • Mike Kelly (R-Butler) Nay
  • Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) Yea
  • Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne) Nay
  • Scott Perry (R-York) Nay
  • Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny) Nay
  • Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware) Yea
  • Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) Nay
  • Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) Nay
  • Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) Yay

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