House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at a weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol on February 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images
Parliament passed its $ 1.9 trillion Coronavirus Ease Act early Saturday and sent the massive proposal to the Senate as Democrats rush to approve more aid before unemployment programs expire.
It is President Joe Biden’s first major legislative initiative. The House agreed to this in a vote between 219 and 212 as two Democrats joined all Republicans in opposing it.
Senators will consider the pandemic support plan next week. Legislators will propose changes, and the House will likely pass a different version of the bill, which means the House would have to pass the Senate’s plan or the Houses would have to work out a final proposal in a conference committee.
Democrats, who have a close majority in the House and Senate, chose to pass the legislation through budget balancing alone, rather than working out a smaller bailout with Republicans. The procedure enables a law to be passed with a simple majority in the Senate.
The house plan includes:
- Payments of $ 1,400 to most people, along with the same amount for each dependent. Checks begin to expire on income of $ 75,000 and go to zero for those earning $ 100,000
- A $ 400 weekly unemployment benefit through August 29, plus an expansion of programs to increase the number of millions of people eligible for unemployment benefits
- An extension of the child tax credit to give families up to $ 3,600 per child over a year
- $ 20 billion for distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and $ 50 billion for testing and tracking efforts
- $ 350 billion for state, local, and tribal government
- $ 25 billion to help cover rental payments
- $ 170 billion for K-12 schools and higher education institutions to cover reopening costs and student support
- A minimum wage of $ 15 an hour that the Senate MP does not allow in the Atonement Act on the other side of the Capitol
Democrats have named the bill needed to speed up vaccinations – a crucial step in resuming a certain amount of pre-pandemic life – and feed households at a time when around 19 million people are receiving unemployment benefits.
“The time for decisive action is long overdue” House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Said Friday night before the vote. “President Biden’s American bailout is that crucial move.”
Republicans questioned the need for such a large proposal, particularly critical of the size of direct payments, state and local support, and school funding. Earlier on Friday, House Minority Chairman Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Claimed the legislation was “not an auxiliary bill” and “does not deliver for American families.”
The Biden government and Democratic leaders in Congress said the country had a greater risk of doing too little than putting too much money into responding. Some economists have also questioned the scope of the bill.
Senate Democrats face greater challenges than the House in getting the laws passed. While the party can approve the law itself, every Democrat must endorse it in the Senate, which is 50% split.
Democrats also need to decide how to proceed with minimum wage policy without losing any support. After the Senate MP ruled that under the reconciliation rules, the bill could not include a lower wage limit of $ 15, Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., And Bernie Sanders, I-Vt searched for a workaround to impose a tax penalty on large corporations that don’t pay workers at least $ 15 an hour.
It’s unclear whether the proposal would meet the Senate’s budget constraints.
Vice President Kamala Harris also appears to be opposed to overriding MEP Elizabeth MacDonough, which some progressives have suggested.
Pelosi said earlier Friday that she believes the House will “absolutely” pass the relief bill if it comes back from the Senate without a minimum wage increase. She told reporters that the Democrats will try to pass the wage increase through a separate plan if necessary.
“We won’t rest until we pass the $ 15 minimum wage,” she said.
This story evolves. Please try again.
Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.