US Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, accompanied by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, will speak with reporters at the US Capitol in Washington on July 29, 2020.
Erin Scott | Reuters
The House of Representatives approved President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package, which is expected to become days of debate and political deals in and around the Senate.
The House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Early Saturday voted largely in line with party lines to advance the massive relief plan, which includes extensions to programs designed to help millions of unemployed Americans and provide financial support to national and local authorities.
Now that the bill includes a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, lawmakers will begin filing amendments to the House’s plan next week and will likely pass a different version of the bill they have. receive.
Should that happen, the House will have to approve the Senate version or the two houses will meet to draft a final, pleasant draft in a conference committee. Democrats are rushing to send the bill to Biden’s office by March 14, when unemployment benefits expire.
In advocating for the legislation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Emphasized Thursday that millions of Americans are in dire economic conditions.
“This is an economic and health crisis that only occurs once in a century,” he wrote on Twitter. “But Republican leaders are reportedly ‘maneuvering’ to get every Republican member to oppose urgent, daring COVID relief.”
“Make no mistake,” he added, “we will deliver the American bailout with overwhelming public support.”
Democrats hold a narrow majority in both the House and Senate and chose to try to push through Biden’s stimulus plan through a process known as budget reconciliation. Reconciliation allows a party to pass a bill by a simple majority vote, but limits what can be included in the bill to those items that have a significant impact on the federal deficit.
Although the House approved their bill with a federal minimum wage of $ 15 an hour, the Senate MP decided on Thursday that the pay increase cannot be included in a bill under reconciliation.
The MP’s ruling underscores the fragility of the bill’s composition in the Senate, where even one democratic no could condemn Biden’s first landmark legislation.
Party leadership is likely to target Democrats in the middle of the road, such as Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who are more likely to oppose amenities they see as expensive or unnecessary.
Manchin had already had doubts about the fate of additional stimulation controls on January 8, prior to Biden’s inauguration.
The conservative Democrat said he would be “absolutely” against a new round of direct payments, but later clarified in a tweet, writing, “If the next round of incentive checks comes out, they should be targeting those who need it.”
Others, like Vermont’s independent Bernie Sanders, have instead redoubled their commitment to progressive priorities like the $ 15 minimum wage increase.
He and Senate Finance Senate Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Are working to amend the bill that would penalize large corporations that pay their employees less than $ 15 an hour.
The Washington City Times’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.