Speaker of the Home Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at a weekly information convention on the U.S. Capitol on February 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Photos
The Home handed its $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid invoice early Saturday, sending the large proposal to the Senate as Democrats rush to approve extra assist earlier than unemployment packages expire.
It’s the first main legislative initiative for President Joe Biden. The Home authorised it in a 219-212 largely social gathering line vote, as two Democrats joined all Republicans in opposing it.
Senators will start thinking about the pandemic help plan subsequent week. Lawmakers will provide amendments, and the chamber will possible cross a special model of the invoice, that means the Home must cross the Senate’s plan or the chambers must craft a ultimate proposal in a convention committee.
Democrats, who maintain slim majorities within the Home and Senate, opted to approve the laws alone by means of budget reconciliation somewhat than hammer out a smaller assist package deal with Republicans. The method permits a invoice to cross with a easy majority within the Senate.
The Home plan contains:
- Funds of $1,400 to most people, together with the identical quantity for every dependent. Checks begin to part out at $75,000 in earnings and go to zero for people making $100,000
- A $400 per week unemployment complement by means of Aug. 29, together with an extension of packages making hundreds of thousands extra individuals eligible for jobless advantages
- An growth of the kid tax credit score to offer households as much as $3,600 per youngster over a yr
- $20 billion for Covid-19 vaccine distribution and $50 billion for testing and tracing efforts
- $350 billion in state, native and tribal authorities aid
- $25 billion for help in protecting hire funds
- $170 billion for Okay-12 colleges and better training establishments to cowl reopening prices and assist to college students
- A $15 per hour federal minimum wage, which the Senate parliamentarian won’t permit within the reconciliation invoice on the opposite facet of the Capitol
Democrats have referred to as the invoice obligatory to hurry up vaccinations — a vital step to resuming some stage of pre-pandemic life — and maintain households at a time when roughly 19 million persons are receiving jobless advantages.
“The time for decisive motion is lengthy overdue,” Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., mentioned Friday evening earlier than the vote. “President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is that decisive motion.”
Republicans questioned the necessity for a proposal so massive, criticizing specifically the scope of the direct funds, state and native authorities assist and college funding. Earlier Friday, Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., contended the laws “is not a aid invoice” and “fails to ship for American households.”
The Biden administration and Democratic leaders in Congress mentioned the nation faces a much bigger threat of doing too little than injecting an excessive amount of cash into the response. Some economists have additionally questioned the size of the invoice.
Senate Democrats face extra challenges in passing the laws than the Home did. Whereas the social gathering can approve the invoice by itself, it should want each Democrat to assist it within the Senate, which is cut up 50-50.
Democrats additionally need to resolve easy methods to proceed on minimum-wage coverage with out dropping any assist. After the Senate parliamentarian dominated the invoice couldn’t embrace a $15 pay ground below reconciliation guidelines, Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have appeared for a workaround to impose a tax penalty on large corporations that do not pay workers at least $15 an hour.
It’s unclear if the proposal would adjust to the Senate’s funds restrictions.
Vice President Kamala Harris additionally seems set in opposition to making an attempt to overrule parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, which some progressives have advised she ought to do.
Pelosi mentioned earlier Friday that she believes the Home will “completely” cross the aid invoice if it comes again from the Senate and not using a minimum-wage enhance in it. She informed reporters that Democrats will attempt to cross the pay enhance by means of a separate plan if wanted.
“We won’t relaxation till we cross the $15 minimal wage,” she mentioned.
This story is growing. Please verify again for updates.