WASHINGTON — The debate on a $494 billion coronavirus stimulus relief bill was personal for California congresswoman and St. Louis native Maxine Waters.
While taking her turn at the podium on the House floor, Rep. Waters removed her mask to talk about her sister in St. Louis.
“I’m going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, right now, infected by the coronavirus,” Rep. Waters said.
Rep. Waters was born in St. Louis as the fifth of 13 children; she was raised by a single mother, according to her U.S. House of Representatives biography. She graduated from Vashon High School in the city before moving to Los Angeles.
The congresswoman voted in support of the measure, which ended up passing Thursday evening. The new relief bill meant to help employers and hospitals now goes to President Donald Trump’s desk.
Rep. Waters wasn’t the only House member to share personal reasons why they were voting to pass the coronavirus measure. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) said she had just gotten a devastating phone call.
“Another dear friend of mine has passed,” she said. “I stand here today with my heart broken.”
On Twitter, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said her brother died of the virus Tuesday evening.
“I’m grateful to the nurses and frontline staff who took care of him, but it’s hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say ‘I love you’ one more time — and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close,” the senator tweeted.
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